Shun the Hand-Out and welcome A Hand-Up
September 24, 2013, Wednesday at 8 am, we started to clear a 7,000 m2 site for construction to commence, building a 20,000 sqft community education campus in Devland Soweto. The community members gathered to clear the site. More than 200+ people, all ages came together with shovel, garbage bags, surgical masks and a spirit of solidarity with construction industry members. They may not have the skills to build but by darn, they wanted to engage. They are looking for enterprise development opportunities, skills transfer and skills training and to get on board from the get-go, they helped clear the site, a 7,000 m2 site, no mean fete. They want to be the first in line when those opportunities arise.
More impressive is that 80% of the project was developed, designed and will be built by students, professionals, leaders in the construction industry and suppliers to the industry, all in-kind. Our business model : 20% represents the funding required to develop a GUA project, to operate during the year long building period, to pay community day laborers who will shadow the professionals (where safety and health will allow), upgrade of services to the site, to purchase generators needed during construction, petrol, etc. If this project were not in-kind sponsored, R 30M would need to be raised, instead it is R 6M or less. (currently 93% in-kind 7% funding)
The community does not want to wait to improve their lives. Their attitude, “so much for entitlement.” Their definition of entitlement: “we are entitled to a better life, by the mere fact that we are beautiful human beings and we are not prepared to sit and wait for the changes that government has promised.” “We are joining with GROWING UP AFRICA, a non-profit www.growingupafrica.co.za www.growingupafrica.co.za
their partnership, a collaboration with the build industry and other industry leaders. We will support and leverage where we can to build this project. We want to improve our community for our people and for our families, our children and everyone who lives in Devland Soweto. We deserve this but we also know we are responsible for the change that needs to happen.”