The NGO, Habitat For Humanity, changed the lives of more than a dozen people living in Mfuleni on the Cape Flats this week. They will soon be able to call themselves homeowners. The group’s volunteers built 20 homes in the township. The project forms part of the organisation’s initiative called “Build Week”.

To date some 15 thousand volunteers of Habitat for Humanity have built 3 600 homes in South Africa.

This week, the volunteers entered  the impoverished area of Mfuleni, on the Cape Flats and started with the construction of 20 houses.  The homes which are expected to be completed in the next three weeks will be handed over to community members who have been on the local government’s  housing waiting list for several years. They fall within the low income bracket.

Habitat For Humanity Volunteers say to be part of such a project has been life changing.

For Diana Jojo it’s something she is extremely proud to be part of: “We are here , we have been here every week. We started out on one house, working on the exteriors, and now we are on the third house in a week.”

The NGO’s management team says it is not just about building a house. Director Patrick Kulati says this project aims to equip and educate people on how to maintain their homes.

“These are people many of them are unemployed or earn low income in various areas of Cape Town, and so what we do is engage with them and build their capacity in terms of how to look after their house, after they receive their house, how to do a do it yourself a DIY.”

Meanwhile mother of four, Nontuthuzelo Sitweni, says the house will be a vast improvement on her and her family’s living conditions.

“It’s going to make a huge difference we are not going to get cold now in winter and we are not going to be exposed to dust and to get sick we are much happier. “

This year marks Habitat for Humanity’s 21st Birthday. The NGO says it aims to build many more houses and with every project, change the lives of more people.