Steve & Cian Harrison – Niall Mellon Township Trust Building Blitz 2012
Mid-January was decision time in the Harrison Household, top of our agenda was, were we returning to South Africa for the 2nd time as part of the 600 volunteers. Heading to the Township of Wallacedene with the Niall Mellon Township Trust, myself Steve Harrison and son Cian were heading for our 2nd Blitz and with a bit of friendly persuasion we managed to bring my second son David on his 1st Blitz. 6 months of fundraising followed and with the generous support of friends and neighbours we raised the necessary funds for our trip.
We arrived in South Africa on Sunday the 10th of November, ready for one week’s work in the township of Wallacedene. On the first morning each volunteer is assigned to their team – David and I with the Royal Blue and Cian with the Purple team.
As a proud Purple team member I struggled to maintain a civil relationship with my dad and brother as they were part of our arch rival’s team – the not so Royal Blues. As the week unfolded I began to realise that not just did I have two family members to share this amazing experience with, but 600!
The feeling of togetherness, the sheer determination & hard work undertaken by each and every volunteer is what makes us all one big family. A point to remember is the name of the first township where Niall and thefirst 153 volunteers started the life changing work – Imizamo Yethu which means “We stand together” Mankind is one big family and together we can continue to break boundaries and build lives for our fellow brothers and sisters.
We are now half way through the week working alongside a wide variety of people with a combination of skills required to achieve the target for the blitz week. The teamwork encountered on the blitz week will inspire the Volunteers to continue to come back. We are heading to Kenya in 2013 – A new journey, a new challenge.
Part of the week includes a visit to one of the shacks in Wallacedene. When you see the terrible conditions people are living in it brings home the reason why we are here. Without the generosity of all who donate to our fundraising we would not be here.
On Tuesday we visited the first Township that Niall Mellon visited, Imizamo Yethu which means “We stand together”. It signifies what can be achieved by people when they come together with a common cause to help the less well off.
Friday is only 2 days away and the 600 volunteers will have built another 110 houses which means over 500 people in Wallacedene will be living in houses for the first time. It is incredible to be part of the Township Trust which has housed over 100,000 people in the last 10 years.