World Habitat Day 2018

On World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity joins the United Nations and organisations around the world in raising awareness and in educating and mobilising individuals and communities to take action on the current global housing crisis.

“Habitat for Humanity alone cannot address the critical issue of inadequate housing. Together, we can improve lives and communities — at home and around the globe.” Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity International

The United Nations established World Habitat Day in 1985 to spotlight the need for adequate shelter worldwide. On the first Monday in October each year, Habitat for Humanity affiliates and national organisations, by engaging partners in the solution, raise their collective voice and take action to change the systems, policies and attitudes that lead to poverty housing.

In commemoration of World Habitat Day 2018, Habitat SA will be building in Bardale, Mfuleni, Cape Town from 1 – 5 October together with Sbu-Leno Construction, CPT Department of Human Settlements, Rotary Club of Claremont, Johnson & Johnson, Springfield Girls Convent, Reddam High School Durbanville and HHO to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter for three low-income families.

During the week of 15-19 October, @home will be joining Habitat SA, Dezzo Holdings and the KZN Department of Human Settlements in Umgababa, KwaZulu Natal to build a home for a Special Needs family as part of their ‘Heart of @home’ initiative.

Habitat SA’s core business focuses on developing resilience of individuals and communities, especially as it pertains to the improvement of or access to housing. As such, Build Events are crucial catalysts for long-term, real transformation and give corporate volunteers a very powerful introduction to our work. They foster greater understanding of shelter, poverty and unemployment issues in the community and build relationships across all cultural divides. Ordinary citizens feel empowered and hopeful when they become more active in the solutions.

Homeowner Profile – Miniyakhe Mafahla, Mfuleni

Habitat for Humanity believes that a decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success that might have been part of a family like the Mafahla family’s life for years, and in many cases for generations.

Miniyakhe Mafahla (42) lives in a one bedroom informal home with his wife and two children. A part-time truck driver, Miniyakhe has lived in the Mfuleni informal settlement all his life and has been on the housing waiting list for over 15 years.

The roof of the family’s current shelter has a roof that leaks in the Cape Town rain and there is no water supply. The family has had to make use of an outside toilet with no lockable door to do their ablutions during the day and at night.

Miniyakhe is concerned that noise and limited space affect his children’s studies. He believes a formal house will finally give them privacy, a sense of security and most importantly create a conducive learning environment for their children.

Thanks to the World Habitat Day Build volunteers in October, the Mafahla family will have an opportunity toward a better future – it starts with a decent home.

Fast Facts about World Habitat Day:

  • During World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity draws attention to the important role decent housing plays in eliminating barriers to a better, healthier, more financially stable life.
  • Solid Ground Campaign: Seventy-five percent of people lack proper documentation for the land on which they live. Without land, there can be no housing, and housing is the key to stability and opportunity.
  • Over 150 governments agreed to the New Urban Agenda as a global framework highlighting the need for urban policies to emphasise housing, focus on secure tenure and prioritise community-led development, and we must ensure governments are held accountable to their commitments.

If you are interested in participating in a Volunteer Team Build, email: build@habitat.org.za to find out more.

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