On the November 18th, 500 South Africans lives in the township of Witsand were utterly changed. Children, parents and grandparents left behind damp unsanitary conditions and the constant threat of shack fires to begin a new life free of fear and brimming with possibility thanks to the Irish volunteers who worked on the Niall Mellon Township Trust Building Blitz.
The joy in the faces of the recipient families was matched by every single man, woman and teenage volunteer who had sweated blood and tears to make it all happen. The Gebenga family with their 3 boys, Aaron, Moses and Amos unlocked the front door to their first home, stepping into a future no longer to be marred by the endless health problems they have faced their entire existence. When the festivities were over and after a week of toiling in the heat block laying, tiling and roofing the volunteers were treated to a hero’s send off by the people of Witsand.
Niall Mellon said “This is a superb end to the week; thanks to the extraordinary spirit of everyone who came on the building blitz we have now housed another 500 people into quality housing. The volunteers have been working flat out to ensure no family was left disappointed and once again I am truly humbled by the Irish spirit and the support of their family and friends back home who helped fundraise with them.” There is real recognition in South Africa about the generosity of Irish People and with so much bad news back home, this is a real moment to be proud to be irish and the 100,000 figure really marks the scale of our achievement said Mellon. “Many of these families were living in shacks for over 20 years. To see them close the door on their shack for the last time is a great moment and for many of them their lives begin today!”
To date the charity has built 18,300 homes housing nearly 100,000 people. 2012 will see the charity’s 10th anniversary. Niall Mellon said “ Over 8,000 Volunteers have been on building blitz’s with us since 2002 and each and every one of these people have made a monumental difference to the people in the townships of South Africa. No human being should ever live in a shack.” The Niall Mellon Township Trust has is now accepting applications for its next 1 week building blitz in November 2012. JOIN US TODAY >>
BUILDING BLITZ KEY FACTS
Our Mission: Building Houses for people of the township of Witstand.
Location: Witstand, Cape Town, South Africa.
Fundraising Target: New Volunteers: €4,750 & Veteran Volunteers: €4,000.
Programme Duration: 1 Week.
Dates: 12th-19th November.