“Giving for the benefit of others is the hallmark of Christianity. At a time when unbridled individualism and unrestrained consumerism are at their highest, existing side by side with the highest levels of poverty in the world, the death and the resurrection of Christ highlights the importance of giving. It is within the power of humanity to lift one another up from the dysfunction of poverty. Give a hand up, not a hand out!”
Patrick Kulati, CEO Habitat for Humanity SA
From 15 – 18 April 2019, we were joined in Mfuleni, Cape Town by volunteers from TAL, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Youth@Work, a Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation Programme.
As patron of Habitat for Humanity South Africa and an ardent supporter of the poor and vulnerable in this country, former Archbishop Desmond Tutu calls on you “to support and work with Habitat for Humanity South Africa as we strive to build communities around a vision of a world in which everyone has a decent place to live.”
Building communities around houses is at the very core of what Habitat for Humanity South Africa is all about.
In the same way bricks form the foundation of a home for a family, the gift of a Habitat house provides the foundation for creative growth and development of people from all walks of life coming together, united by a common goal, and in the process engage, learn and have a greater understanding of one another.
As the house takes shape brick by brick, a home provides security and gives protection from our harsh winters’ floods and possible fires. It offers a healthy environment with clean running water and decent sanitation a quiet place for children to learn and study and a valuable asset for future use as collateral for tertiary education and other investments. Most importantly, the home gives the family a solid space from where they can improve their livelihoods. A home is instrumental in breaking the shackles of poverty from one generation to the next.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa also provides the platform for social development from the moment the beneficiary qualifies for a Habitat home, they are taken through a series of workshops organised and run by Habitat, educating them about the responsibilities and practicalities of owning a home, budgeting, paying rates and services, home maintenance and planning for a future, are some of the key focus areas covered. Habitat is committed to employing from the communities in which it works wherever possible, as well as providing on-site skills and job training. Many beneficiaries have carried on to establish micro-enterprises or open their own construction businesses.
For corporate donors participating in and providing valuable funding, there are opportunities for participating in meaningful social transformation, and team-building of staff and co-workers plays a key part in making a tangible difference to a family and their community through their selfless contribution and involvement.
For churches and other Christian organisations, Habitat provides the opportunity for all denominations and backgrounds to come together to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Working together they can eradicate poverty, uplift impoverished communities and clearly demonstrate the love of God. For Government and municipalities there is an exciting opportunity to partner and become involved in the eradication of poor housing. They’re able to uplift and provide communities with the tools to enable them to make their hopes and dreams a reality.
“Together, let’s build a community of South Africans filled with love, dignity, hope and the opportunity of a brighter future we all so rightly deserve in this wonderful country of ours.” Desmond Tutu
The Build event is only part of the story. What evolves after the event is the long-term impact we all hope for.