By now the first group of us have had our safety briefing, meeting with Niall and a first taste of the building site that will be home for us for the next week of our lives.
Izimano Yethu holds a very special place in our hearts. It was here that it all began for us back in 2003 with the building of 150 houses in one of Cape Town’s poorest townships. It was here that the relationship between our charity and the people of South Africa was forged on the belief that hard work and the right attitude can overcome any adversity – along with building homes for these people we built hope for their community.
And so to phase two of out project – the future. Many houses have been and continue to be built. What these people need as well as a home is an education – to build their own future. Two hundred and fifty of us have arrived this week to build a new school to house 1,200 primary school children. There are 3 run-down buildings that need total renovation and 12 new classrooms will be built.
We are also funding extra teachers to give these children the start in life they deserve. As we walk through the township to the building site newly built houses tell us we are making a difference. Yes there are still shacks and yes these is still massive poverty but there is a sense of hope that it can be changed.
After the hugs are exchanged with all the fellow marooners, it’s time for the serious business. One of the favourite sounds of my life has become the roar of the cement mixer and as ever it’s here I will spend my week. Ger is back and together we make some team – and mighty cement!
Foreman Andy lets a road that the blocklayers are ready to go and that spells the start of a busy but totally magic week at the mixer – a wonderful home from home.