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Habitat For Humanity Sponsorship

Article submitted by Robyn Smith.

Habitat for Humanity is a well known name around the world – an organisation with a wide basis of volunteers who regularly raise funds and reach out by building numerous houses for members of the community. With the help of Stor-age, two friends (Kayla-Tess Haupt and Sean Pattenden) and I headed out to Mfuleni* to bless someone with a new home. All it took was 5 days, a handful of enthusiastic volunteers, and a plot of land, one or two brick layers and copious amounts of cement to finish building a sturdy house for an extremely gracious homeowner.

Within the couple days that we were at the building site we stretched ourselves completely and revelled in being outside our comfort zones. There was no job that we couldn’t do – we mixed ‘dagha’ (cement); threw many, many bricks; varnished; smoothed; repacked; cleaned and ate more vetkoek than ever before. It was very special to be working within the community and we had the chance to befriend and play with the children, the woman whose home we were building, one or two dogs and a number of fellow volunteers from all over the world.

We knew as we entered this project that we would not always be comfortable with this form of physical outreach but we surprised ourselves as our passions for blessing others took over. It was completely invigorating – the fresh air; the physical labour; the complete irrelevance of race, culture, language, religion or gender as well as the lovely ache and stretch of our muscles the next morning.

After being exposed to Habitat for Humanity we can’t stress enough how important housing projects and schemes are to sustaining and growing our beautiful country – not only by means of housing but through education and awareness as well. It provides people with hope. Hope that things will be alright but also hope for a future. The Habitat for Humanity policy and process is an educational one that leaves the homeowners with opportunities and possibilities. To apply for a house, the family would need to own a plot of land, earn between R0 – R3500, be living in sub-standard housing and be qualified to receive a government housing subsidy. They would also need to complete ‘Sweat Equity’ which is the completion of a minimum of one entire projects worth of volunteering on someone else’s house in order to understand the work and effort that is going into their new home. After this they need to complete a homeowner education course that deals with budgeting, costing, health planning, legal responsibilities and HIV/AIDS education.

My friends and I felt incredibly encouraged and honoured to have helped out with such amazing people for such a great cause. We were constantly reminded that all it takes to be proactive in the place where we live is enthusiasm and willingness. We’d like to thank Stor-Age for their part in the project and the opportunity to grow that we all received. What an experience. :)

See the rest of the pictures here.

*[Mfuleni is an informal settlement on the Eastern Side of the Kuils River. Most residents are Xhosa and the township only developed in the late 1960’s.]

Posted by Stor-Age Self Storage - 28 July 2011 | Charity