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Building a Community…

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Habitat for Humanity builds more than houses—we build communities.

When families build their own homes with the help of local and international volunteers, they gain a stake in their community before they even move in.

HFH builds bridges between different social and economic walks of life. In Mmamelodi, South Africa, an area previously prone with racial conflicts and instability, saw people of all races coming together to build for the community of the Elephant. They put hands together to build 28 houses during the recent 2004 Kenneth Kaunda Work Project in Mmamelodi.

Dr Kaunda commented, “My heart is filled with joy to see all these volunteers who have given of their time to come and participate in the project. They have helped us to fulfill our vision of helping those in need to receive simple, decent and affordable housing and this has been done in the spirit of the second commandment ‘Love thy neighbor’”.

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“I feel that there is love here at the building site. We love each other and help each other. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t feel alone, I feel light.” – Michaeline Mahlangu, Homeowner HFH House No 28, Mamelodi, South Africa

Asking around the corporate sponsors and volunteers why they were building those houses, one gets amazing answers … “We’re meeting our commitment to contribute to a better world for its communities.” … “Lest they forget, we are building appreciation among our staff of what it really means to be a citizen of South Africa.” … “A firm is responsible to the communities where it operates.”… “Its pride in inspiring hope in the community …”… “Because of the wonderful example it is of what volunteerism can do for a firm – it’s about team building and involving people at grassroots.” … “It’s an opportunity in many for women to collaborate and contribute to housing in South Africa.”

A celebration marks the completion of every homeowner’s home. This provides a joyous opportunity to welcome the family and witness what a community can accomplish together.

Pictures courtesy of Lisa Carter – 2004 KKWP photographer