The searing heat in Gauteng and the rain and cold across the other regions did little to dampen the spirits of close on 6500 volunteers from 34 corporate companies across South Africa who took time out from their normal work routine to lend a hand in Habitat’s largest Corporate Blitz Build to date during the week of 1 – 5 October.
Friday 5 October being the last day of the build week saw the culmination of their efforts and hard labour as 64 families were presented with the keys to the front door of their new homes at Habitat’s Special Closing Ceremony held across South Africa.
At the closing ceremony in Orange Farm, keynote speaker UNHABITAT’s Programme Manager, Mrs Pinky Vilakazi in her opening address asked everyone to stand and give a big hand to all the volunteers and corporates who made this possible "this day is a special day - although you have your own house, your own families and your own children to look after, you set aside this week to come here and do your part in a week of "servant hood" – we appreciate and salute you for this and will always remember your contribution - however small you may think it may have been, you have left your mark in the hearts of this community!" she said.
Other key speakers at the ceremony included; IDC’s CEO, Mr Geoffrey Qhena; Federated Employers’ Mutual Assurance Company Limited’s CFO, Mr Ashwin Daya and ArcelorMittall’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Maggie Mopedi – all long standing donor partners with Habitat.
In his address, IDC’s CEO, Mr Geoffrey Qhena, thanked Habitat for coordinating the project and said they were proud and privileged to be afforded the opportunity to come and make a difference in the Orange Farm community. "In partnership and through the intervention of the corporates we know we have made a difference to the lives of the beneficiaries this week" he said.
Mr Ashwin Daya, FEM’s CEO said they were extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to assist the Orange Farm community and to add to their dignity by providing the basic need - a place to live in. He also called on the sponsors involved in the project to keep the project alive by encouraging their competitors and their suppliers to join the initiative to make a difference in our country.
For just one of the beneficiaries living in Orange Farm, Anne Moletsane (79 years old, a widow of 30 years and looking after two grandchildren as her own siblings have all passed on), the prospect of finally owning her own home represents a very special Christmas this year, "this will be the first time I will be able to look out of my window on Christmas Day at the rain falling down outside knowing that this year it will not come in and flood my shack as has happened in all the other years, said Anne
"Thank you to corporate South Africa for making this possible – we asked you to help us serve others in need and your response was resounding - through the collective power of people like you coming together to help others in need, 64 families now have a place they can call home!" said, Adrienne Burke, Habitat’s Marketing Specialist.
Habitat for Humanity South Africa is a leading non-profit company and is part of Habitat for Humanity International, which was founded in 1976 and today has branches in more than 80 countries worldwide.
We believe that every person has the right to a home that offers security and comfort. With the support of volunteers, we put our faith into action by building homes for families in need and offering them the foundation for a better life. Our belief is that dignity, hope and independence are achieved through equal, accountable partnerships – not hand-outs. That is why every family contributes time and effort into the construction of their home and the homes of other recipients in the programme.
By uniting South Africans in a common goal we’re not just building houses - we’re transforming communities. We measure our success by positive and lasting social and economic change.
Source: www.sagoodnews.co.za via Habitat for Humanity