“I was blind and now I can see in that I was not aware of what was happening around me in the community and that I can play a role to impact my community in such a simple yet impactful way. The programme has enabled me to grow self-confidence, thanks to Habitat.”
Stanley Nhlapo, Food Garden Champion, Stretford
Stretford, Extension 6, Orange Farm is located 45 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg, and Habitat South Africa has been involved with the community since 2008. Our initial four-year engagement focused on building housing with volunteers, as a way to address the dire need for decent shelter. Since 2015 the strategy has evolved to include growing strong, community-based leadership.
This has borne fruit with the election of a democratic leadership committee, which has adopted a constitution, leased an office from Isibonisio Combined School, and developed a Community Action Plan (CAP), among other milestones.The programme also included an asset mapping and social scoping process with 300 households, so that the residents are better informed about their environment and resources.
Habitat for Humanity SA has facilitated several workshops to further empower committee members. Topics ranged from conflict resolution and organisational structure, to individual development and action learning.
The successes of a powerful leadership committee with inclusive partnerships will be replicated and rolled out in other extension areas of the greater Orange Farm community. Education will be a key component in this transfer of knowledge and skills, as everyone is personally invested in the next generation.
The broad aim is to increase the ability of the Orange Farm community to adapt and respond creatively to change, ensuring they understand the issues and are part of the solution. This includes planning to increase the number of families with their own homes.