• 28 Jun 2018

Living is a basic right! Every family should have the right to their own roof over their head. We will therefore build a house for a needy family in Umgababa (Africa) in June. This will allow a family, which is not blessed today, to start a safe new life.” Be the Change_Build a Home

This was a post shared on the German Global Village volunteer group’s social media page in preparation for the week’s build in Mpushini, KwaZulu Natal in the first week of June. The group of 9 students joined hearts and hands with the Ngubane family who have been living in Mpushini for the past 50 years in extremely unpleasant conditions.

The Ngubane Family

UG0099 Ngubane 100 FY12 Photo 2

The mud house that the family occupied had 4 rooms and was very uncomfortable to live in during winter and summer. Sholoni Ngubane is the head of the family and she is the mother of 5 children, although unfortunately three of her children have passed away.

The Ngubane family suffer from the daily challenges of poverty. Bhekisisa Ngubane (47), is unemployed and he has no children. Buyisele Ngubane (43), is also unemployed and she has 4 children between the ages of 10 and 21. All of her children are in school except for the 21 year old who is unable to find employment. The only income this family receives is from a Government social grant which barely covers the necessary items each month.

Buyisele Ngubane struggles with her health as her leg was severely damaged when she was young, resulting in her having to use a wheelchair. The doctors mentioned at the time that she would not be able to walk again, yet Buyisele persisted and was able to strengthen her leg as a result.

The family was humbled by their selection for this build and they couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty during the build week. Sholoni said during the interview, “I am so happy for this opportunity that has been offered to my family, I have been praying for this my whole life and I have been waiting to have a house for over 20 years now, may God bless the hand that gives.”

The German volunteers participated in a joyful celebration of traditional Zulu song and dance on the final day when they dedicated the Ngubane’s new home to them. It is an incredible connection to witness as a week of engagement and working together for a common cause bonds ties across cultural divides. Thank you to the team for the generosity of spirit displayed and to Habitat for Humanity Deutschland for facilitating the logistical detail involved in a Global Village team send.


“I had the privilege of partly facilitating a build in Umgababa where a group of 9 German Global Village volunteers wanted to build a house. The enthusiasm and motivation that the group had was amazing. They even gave up on their tea breaks just to get the house built. This was the first time they were in South Africa and were not interested in sight seeing, just interested in building a house. They had brought a football and played with the children in the community, but that also took backseat when it came to getting the job done. I take my hat off to these youngsters for their determination to even work until the last minute.” Helga DeVilliers – Housing Finance Administrator

Through Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village trips, teams are given the opportunity to volunteer abroad with Habitat in more than 40 countries. The trips offer more than just the opportunity to swing a hammer. When you travel and volunteer with Global Village, you’ll experience the country like a local, with the locals. Meet people from around the world with all different kinds of backgrounds, races and religions.

Spending time with other cultures doesn’t mean just exploring the differences, but also discovering the commonalities. You’ll find that you don’t even need to speak the language.

Volunteer participation in one of these trips helps support Habitat’s ongoing homebuilding efforts. While your personal trip may last for a week or more, your financial, emotional and physical contributions can be life-changing for both those in the communities where you work and in your own life for years to come.

If you are interested in participating in a Habitat Global Village volunteer team, you can follow this link to find out more.