• 13 Dec 2017

Home is where the Heart is and Virginia's Heart is at Home for Christmas


Nowanky (Virginia) Magidela (53) lives with her three daughters; Simpiwe (20), Khanyisa (14) and Zihle (12) on Erf Number BD763 in Mfuleni, Western Cape. Whilst discussing the prospect of her new home, Virginia expressed the vulnerability that her and her daughters felt due to the lack of security that they experienced living in their shack. Intruders could easily access their belongings by lifting the corrugated sheeting of the walls and they felt unsafe at night. Heavy rains entered between the gaps and flooding and wind-damage often occurred, endangering what little they have.

The Magidela family had been waiting for a decent home for over 17 years. Virginia was overjoyed at the prospect of a decent “brick” home, at last.

During the World Habitat Day 2017 Build at the end of November, Habitat for Humanity SA partnered with Sbu-Leno Construction and various corporate teams to build 20 homes in the community. @Home joined hearts and hands with Virginia and her daughters to formalize their home. @Home‘s initiative ‘Heart of @Home’ dedicates itself to the belief that ‘better homes build happy communities and a healthy society‘ and that ‘giving starts at home‘.

True to this commitment and going beyond the build, @Home reconnected with Virginia and offered to gift her with furniture for her new home. 12 days before Christmas, Virginia’s house was handed over to her – the smell of fresh paint and a secure future being the best Christmas gift she could possibly have prayed for.

The Habitat Volunteer Build Event serves as a way of meeting communities needs while giving volunteer teams (made up of active citizens) a chance to experience a side of life in South Africa that many have never been exposed to before. It is a transformational experience that builds lasting bridges between people from different circumstances. What starts as a shelter-related need, ends up as so much more.

Miracles happen when men and women – South Africans of all races – work alongside each other to build something of value together. Everyone comes away with a changed mindset, a shift in preconceived perceptions and a heart full of empathy for one another.

Thank you for your support throughout 2017. Household by household, we can uplift our brothers and sisters to strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter and sustainable development. We look forward to partnering with you in 2018 to deliver impact to even more vulnerable South African families.

Contact us to find out more about Habitat SA’s Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Informal Upgrade Programme, Disaster Reduction, Relief and Response Programme and Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WaSH) initiatives. There are so many ways to be a part of the solution: your expertise, your resources, your time…

We wish you love, hope, peace and joy this festive season. May you and your’s be truly blessed.