Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build Event launched in Ga-Rankuwa

Habitat for Humanity South Africa (HFH SA) in partnership with Nissan SA, City of Tshwane, and Nedbank, yesterday launched the Women’s Month Build in Nissanda, Ga-Rankuwa Zone 10 in Gauteng Province South Africa.

This follows last week on 10 August 2021 where HFH SA in partnership with the City of Tshwane and Nissan SA, handed over 24 houses to 24 families in the same area. The handover of the 24 new houses to first-time homeowners, brings the total number of houses handed over to 74.

This week’s Women’s Build Event is a five-day build week, 16-20 August 2021 where volunteers will be tasked with daily activities to complete a house. The volunteers will be assisted by a Habitat Crew Leader who will liaise between teams and the builders on-site giving guidance and direction ensuring volunteers have adequate work.

The Crew leaders are unemployed community members who are trained by Habitat and given a stipend for their services. The teams will help construct external and internal walls, mix cement, move blocks, smooth (bag) walls, and clear the site.

Only five volunteers can be accommodated per day per house due to health and safety regulations.

The “For Women by Women” project is in line with Women’s Month to build homes for three women, built by women.

HFH SA started the project to encourage women to stand together and build each other houses, with most of the volunteers coming from the community.

Alongside the construction of houses, the Women Build Event is also aimed at highlighting the pivotal role of women in society and their right to access decent and affordable housing as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty from one generation to the next.

The HFH SA Executive Director, Mr Cyrus Watuku, said with the three houses to be built this week, it makes up a total of 77 houses and by 2022, they wish to have finished the project with the help and support from all stakeholders.

Ms Petal Thring of the Housing and Human Settlement – City of Tshwane, said it is a great honor to be part of the project that empowers women.

”It has always been a key responsibility of the City to build houses for the community and we are privileged to have the partnership with HFH SA in projects that benefits the community and particularly women,” said Ms Thring.

HFH SA’s mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. The build events play a crucial role as an entry point for volunteers from various socio-economic backgrounds to participate in a transformational and meaningful experience of building homes for, and interacting directly with, low-income beneficiaries and the broader community. This also provides the platform for organizations to help reduce housing poverty in South Africa.

“By partnering with communities, government, local construction companies, donors and the private sector, HFH SA is able to construct and improve shelter for South Africa’s low-income families through Volunteer Build Events.

“A vital aspect to connecting volunteers with a community is a mutually beneficial exchange. Stereotypes and preconceived ideas are challenged, hearts are changed and lives are transformed. Volunteers often report that they receive far more from the experience than what they give,” said Mr Watuku.

He said this is an important part of Nation Building particularly now in South Africa’s development.

“We see the volunteer build program as a vital catalyst for the broader, long-term development of the families and communities we serve to uplift families from shelter-poverty to stability and self-reliance.

“Home partners will be available during the week and interaction with them is encouraged as stories between people are shared and this often is a platform where individuals can encourage one another and where stereotypes are challenged and changed,” Mr Watuku said.