• 19 Mar 2019

Families Building Homes for Families

Nevi and Craig Letcher, owners of Velocity Vision, a Marketing and Events company based in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, have the menu tabs ‘heart’ and ‘passion’ on their company’s website. Last week, they put this love into action as they assisted in building the home of Jeannet Chausane in Lawley, Johannesburg.

Five years ago, the couple participated on a volunteer Build in Orange Farm, Johannesburg, with Habitat for Humanity SA. This experience was transformative for them and “a dream was born” to return with their family and friends to again impact the life of a family for generations to come.

“One day” turned into this past week, as the Letcher’s decided last year to contact Michael (Resource Development Coordinator) from Habitat for Humanity SA and book a build. In partnership with the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements and Temi Construction, beneficiary Jeannet Chautsane was chosen from the housing list to build with the Velocity Vision team.

Jeannet Chautsane

Jeannet Chautsane_VV_Lawley_5

Jeannet Chautsane (58) relocated to Lawley in 1998 from Pimville, Soweto. She has a daughter, Dainer (43) and two grandchildren, Zanele (26) and Thandi (19). Zanele is studying Tourism and Thandi is studying via correspondence with UNISA. Insufficient income for transport and travelling fare to travel every day from Lawley to Soweto has forced Zanele and Thandi to remain in Soweto.

The Chautsane family earns an income through a government disability grant of R1 700. This money is mainly used for groceries, electricity, a burial society scheme, education and transport. Jeannet travels to a clinic in Pimville once a month. “Sometimes I sell chips and sweets trying to generate more income,” says Jeannet.

“The condition of the house/shack is bad when it is raining it feels like the shack will just be washed away. During winter it is very cold and as the shack is made from tin there is no additional insulation to keep it warm,” says Jeannet.

The shack is a one-room shack with no windows. The door does not lock properly and the floor is made from cement. The house has only a bed, a two-plate stove and boxes that act like shelving, to store clothes and groceries. The inside of the house is very dark and the lights have to be kept on during the day.

“I have been long hoping to have a nice house and now I am happy that the time has come and my family is going to have a proper home with a proper toilet inside and [the] children will have their own room,” says Jeannet.

Building to Change South Africa

The Letcher’s focus of “building to change South Africa,” is born from the understanding that they have been blessed as a family with so much, including adequate shelter and the benefits of a roof over their heads. Nevi describes their blessings as “God-given and not intended solely for ourselves”. Their desire to ‘give back’ has inspired various CSI initiatives each year. This year, Habitat for Humanity SA was fortunate enough to be supported by their employee engagement Team Build in Lawley.

Adamant that they will be returning to don their hard hats again, this ‘first’ build has been dedicated to Nevi and Craig’s late parents – The Letcher’s & Moses’. Another blessing that they attribute their big hearts to. It is thanks to their parents, said Nevi, that they have been raised with values that involve God and have these imprinted on their hearts.

Thank you to the Letcher’s & Moses’ their extended family and children, some whom have travelled far and wide: (Cape Town, London and Australia) and the Velocity Vision employees for their dedication in realising their dreams and paying it forward to the Chautsane family. We are so deeply appreciative of the time and resources donated to supporting the change that takes place far beyond the build for the families who are blessed.

 You can be a part of the change! If you would like to get a team of your family and friends/employees building with us, please email: build@habitat.org.za

Book your team now!