There are a number of different ways in which a house can have a large impact on people lives, including areas such as health, education, water and sanitation and environmental sustaniabilty.
There are a range of elements relating to housing that can effect health outcomes.
- These include agents that affect the quality of the indoor environment, such as indoor pollutants, cold and damp, housing design and lay out, infestations, hazardous internal structures or fixtures, overcrowding, sleep deprivation and social cohesion.
- We are working towards developing a model house that helps to improve the indoor environment for the residents in the townships.
The Niall Mellon Township Trust house gives rise to a number of health improvements to the lives of the beneficiaries:
- As their new homes do not leak and offer more protection from the cold, the beneficiaries of the improved housing are more protected from the elements and are less vulnerable to sickness and fever.
- The new homes are also less susceptible to damp and, as a result, the severity of respiratory problems is reduced.
- Beneficiaries now have their own toilets and running water, which reduces their exposure to germs and bacteria.
- The new electricity supply enables the beneficiaries to store their foods safely, reducing the risk of poisoning and sickness from spoiled foods.
- Each of the new homes has a registered house address which allows it to be easily located by emergency services in the case of emergencies.
- The beneficiaries of the new houses also described the positive progress made in relation to their psychological wellbeing, stressing that they are more hopeful and motivated for the future. They are less stressed about their safety and the safety of their children and this has all led to a more harmonious community atmosphere.
Poor, overcrowded and noisy home conditions impede learning. We want every child in the townships where we work to have a safe environment in which to study and further their education.
- The Niall Mellon Township Trust homes serve to protect the personal effects of the beneficiaries and in particular keep the children’s books and school clothes safe from the rains and the fires that sweep through the townships. The houses are equipped with lockable front and back doors.
- With geysers and running water in the new houses, it is far easier to get ready in the mornings and the children are on time for school.
- Electricity provides the children with proper light for studying.
- There is more space for the children to study in a private, uninterrupted atmosphere.
- Educational Facilities we have built include:
School Hall - Khayelitsha
Community Hall - Freedom Park
School Hall - Wallacedene
Community Library - Klapmuts
Water and Sanitation
Inadequate water supply in informal settlements can lead to a variety of illnesses. Our houses supply beneficiaries with clean and safe drinking water as well as sanitation facilities.
- Providing beneficiaries with basic resources such as clean water is a crucial part of what we do. We believe that basic amenities such as a toilet and hot water substantially influence peoples’ quality of life.
- The charity’s houses have working plumbing systems and toilets. Having taps inside the house eliminates health risks associated with storing water and reduces the amount of time required in fetching water from a communal tap.
- In terms of environmental sustainability we want to meet the communities’ long-term needs, to create a sustainable community, in a sustainable environment, providing durable houses that will accommodate future generations. To achieve this mission the Niall Mellon Township Trust provides quality social housing and promotes sustainable building technology.
- It is communities living in informal settlements in many parts of the world that are particularly vulnerable to environmental hazards. We want to help build sustainable communities and houses that best utilise the natural features of the climate and landscapes.
- Our houses by design strive to be environmentally friendly; the improved insulation reduces the need for heating and the attendant risk of fires.
- The charity has a facilitation role in preparing beneficiaries for home ownership. Workshops include house type selection, environmental issues, skills audit and training. Our facilitators typically engage with the township residents at least nine months before construction commences and organise workshops with the beneficiaries to prepare them for home ownership.
- Once the beneficiaries take ownership of the houses they take part in workshops that cover environmental issues such as recycling, waste disposal, water conservation methods, house maintenance and planning.
- Understanding the importance of protecting the world’s finite resources we use environmentally friendly practices in energy consumption and water conservation in our building practices.
Empowering the Poor
The Niall Mellon Township Trust fully engages with the communities in which it works. We understand the importance of empowering the poor within these communities. We aim to strengthen the people in these communities’ knowledge and skills with the ultimate goal of enabling them to have more control over their own development. This is largely achieved through our Skills Development Programme.
Read about our Skills Development Programme. >>