Habitat for Humanity is committed to supporting the Mandela Day Programme’s next chapter by helping to build the kind of South Africa that Nelson Mandela dreamt of. Through our partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we are pleased to be able to build homes for low-income families. From the area of Mbumbulu, near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, we have received testimonies from two of our beneficiaries, Mrs Lolo Catherine Msomi and Mrs May Bhengu.
Mrs Lolo Msomi
“Before Habitat for Humanity and Nelson Mandela Foundation intervened, I didn’t have a house due to the storms that attacked last April. I had to move in with my daughter Fikelephi and her three children.
"We were five people staying in a two room leaking shack made of zinc… Last year May if I recall correctly, Sanelile who is a Community Development Practitioner from Habitat came to profile me. I was very happy that I will be getting my house finally, after having to wait for years.
"Now in May 2020, I’m staying in my beautiful warm house. I had to take in my daughter and her children. Finally, we are not worried about rains and through trainings from Habitat, we are able to maintain the house and ensure that it remains in this good condition for a long time…. There has been a drastic change in the way we live now. I have a proper house with enough rooms to accommodate everyone. My grandchildren can now invite their friends to the house without being ashamed. Receiving this house gave us a sense of belonging; we live like any other normal family with a proper shelter… Habitat for Humanity SA together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation are changing lives.
"Many people don’t have proper houses, people are suffering on rainy days and when there’s wind. I’ve got the first-hand experience with these two organisations who changed my life for the better. Today I own a beautiful house that I couldn’t afford with my old age pension money, and God is good… If there can be more support provided to Habitat for Humanity as they are the ones working at the grassroots level, there are still more people who need houses. In that way Habitat for Humanity will be able to fund more houses and continue to change people’s lives."
Mrs May Bhengu
“We were staying in a house that was not in a good condition, it would leak when there were rains and [it was] too small to accommodate all eight members of the family.
"One of my sons is sick with epilepsy, the living arrangements weren't good for his condition. I couldn’t afford to build another house because I use my old age pension money to feed the family as no one is employed till today. [My epileptic son] Denis had to even move out of the house and stay in a roundavel that was old, made of mud. That alone was a challenge because we couldn’t take care of him as we would love to; it wasn’t safe for him especially at night. I was always panicking thinking something might happen to him in our absentia…
"Then, through the help of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, I was able to receive a house. Now there is enough space for everyone in the family, others remained in the old house and I moved in to the new house with other ones.
"Now I am at peace, Denis is sleeping with me in the house and now I can look after him even at night… We are a happy family again, we own a beautiful house and I extend my gratitude to Habitat for Humanity and the Nelson Mandela Foundation for changing my life for better. I appreciate everything that’s been done… The Nelson Mandela Foundation changed my life. I couldn’t afford to build a new house and now I am stress free because I have a beautiful home!... If more support can be provided to Habitat for Humanity so that they can reach out to more people in the area.”