The goal is to build 67 homes for 67 families in honour of the annual call for people to devote one minute of their time for every year of Mandela’s public service.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa is the local iteration of the US non-profit organisation founded by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live. This year marks their 21st year in South Africa and celebrations will be held in December. In 2013 the strategy of Habitat for Humanity South Africa shifted to building not only homes but entire communities.
To bring this to life, Habitat invokes a ‘P4’ approach – people, public, private, partnership which has become the driving force to bring active citizens together with the help of business and government to address the country’s housing issue. Central to the success of this P4 approach is ensuring the community is at the centre of the partnership in that they know their needs and what they would like to achieve within their community. South Africa has a current housing backlog of two million, with rapid urbanisation exacerbating the situation.
“Mobilising South Africans to become actively involved to uplift communities and give them access to decent shelter, as well as skills to improve their lives is important to us at Habitat for Humanity South Africa,” says the organisation’s national director Patrick Kulati. “We have a wealth of skills within South Africa and we should utilise all citizens so that they can pass their skills on to vulnerable communities.”
The National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) sets out targets to address the housing challenge, one of which is “active citizenry”. This is something that we at Habitat for Humanity South Africa are championing.
An active citizen is someone who plays a vital role throughout the Habitat for Humanity South Africa value chain, including volunteering at build events, involvement in community-development programmes and using one’s voice to transform government policy through our advocacy programmes”.
Yase Godlo, manager of Mandela Day, which is held every year on Madiba’s birthday 18 July, says “the day is an opportunity where we honour and bring to life the vision, values and leadership of our great statesman by taking action against poverty in a way that will bring about sustainable change”.