Beneficiaries From the 2023 Build for Madiba

From July 17 to July 23, 2023, Habitat for Humanity South Africa partnered with volunteers for Build for Madiba.

Over the five days, the target was to build 18 new homes across Thaba’Nchu, Khayelitsha, and Orange Farm. Up to 10 volunteers were allocated to each site per day, and approximately 50 people from sponsored companies participated.

In past years, Habitat for Humanity South Africa has created homes for over 1000 people. Here are some examples of the citizens they’ve helped.

Elizabeth: Khayelitsha Site

Say hello to Elizabeth, a 70-year-old pensioner who lives with four generations of her family. She cares for her 85-year-old mother, two children, and two grandchildren in a deteriorating two-bedroom zinc house that leaks when it rains. The household depends on various government grants, including old age, child support, and social relief of distress grants.

Despite having access to running water, an outside toilet, and electricity, the house is unsuitable for the elderly and disabled family members. A new home would provide the family with a safe, stable, and comfortable environment, particularly benefiting the vulnerable elderly members.

Elizabeth expressed her gratitude for Habitat for Humanity South Africa and Old Mutual’s support: “I know it is a blessing to host you guys in my house. We have been staying in this house for the past 20 years. We have overcome some difficult and terrible weather conditions but stayed together as a family.”

Temba: Orange Farm Site

Meet Temba. He has faced numerous challenges throughout his life. Temba grew up in the Tshabalala squatter camp in Soweto before being relocated to Orange Farm in 1990. 

Temba has three children: Thabiso, 30, Njabulo, 23, and Nonhlanhla, 12, who attends Sindiswa Primary School. He currently supports his kids with his pension and part-time jobs while also dealing with a challenging relationship with Nonhlanhla’s mother, who cannot provide a consistent environment for their child. But a stable home would provide the foundation for Temba to better support his children and improve their quality of life.

“To have a proper home will come with restoration of dignity and respect; perhaps it will also give assurance that I can be able to raise my child and finally break the curse of poverty shelter,” says Temba Mashinini. 

Samkelo: Khayelitsha Site 

Say hi to Samkelo. He lives with his three siblings and their 11 children. The family survives solely on child support grants, with no other sources of income. Samkelo’s parents, now deceased, left the family home to him and his siblings. 

The informal structure they inhabit is made of zinc and lacks a proper door, offering little privacy or security. The cramped conditions mean the first room serves as a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom for the children at night. The remaining two rooms are used as bedrooms for Samkelo and his siblings.

These challenging living conditions contribute to low self-esteem and discomfort for the family. The children struggle academically due to the poor studying environment, while the adults experience anxiety over the safety and well-being of their loved ones. 

Register for the 2024 Mandela Build

The Build for Madiba 2023 initiative profoundly impacted the lives of individuals like Samkelo, Elizabeth, and Temba. 

By providing secure and dignified housing, Habitat for Humanity South Africa not only improved living conditions but also offered hope and stability to those in need. These success stories highlight the transformative power of community efforts and the importance of continued support for such initiatives. 

As we look to the 2024 Mandela Build, the commitment to creating safe, decent homes for all remains unwavering. This year, our goal is to build 335 hours across five provinces during the month of July. Check out our page for more information, to learn more about the project, and find out how you can volunteer.