JCWP Homeowners Hold Final Meeting Before Blitz Build Begins

Early on the morning of Saturday, June 1, 178 homeowner partners gathered in a downtown Durban Christian center for one final weekly meeting prior to the launch of the Jimmy Carter Work Project 2002 on Monday, June 3.

The scene had been repeated for the past six months as the partners met weekly for a variety of educational sessions about Habitat, what it means to be a Habitat homeowner, budgeting, maintenance, environmental and health issues and responsibilities. But this day's meeting was different. They were reviewing their mortgage contracts--available in both English and Zulu (those who could read interpreting for those could not)--in detail, with ample time for questions and answers.

Sithembiso Hlophe, meeting facilitator and JCWP community development director, wanted to be sure the contracts were clearly understood by all. "A contract is a letter," he said. "It's the same as it has been from the beginning, the only difference now is that it's on paper. This document is the result of all the meetings we've had in this room. ...This contract belongs to us all."

Of the partners gathered here today, 100 have been selected as JCWP homeowners. The houses for the remaining 78 families will be built following the JCWP, at a rate of 10 a month. Since December, all 178 partner families have worked together every Saturday building their houses, and will continue to do so until all 178 houses are complete.

"There is no difference between the JCWP homeowners and the others," says Hlophe, "they have all been treated the same since the beginning. While not all qualified for the JCWP houses, we wanted to maintain the momentum, commitment and hope by working together."


 




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