Building homes – and hope
Habitat for Humanity believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Founded in 1996, Habitat for Humanity SA is an affiliate organisation of Habitat for Humanity International, driven by the mission to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope. “There is an urgent need to address shelter poverty and livelihoods in an innovative and sustainable manner in South Africa,” says Patrick Kulati, CEO at Habitat for Humanity SA. “Our P4 Approach (People-Public-Private Partnership) places Habitat for Humanity SA as a platform that facilitates collaboration between the private and the public sectors as well as directly with communities.”
Connecting volunteers with community
“For 21 years, we’ve been partnering with communities, government, donors and the private sector to construct and improve shelter for South Africa’s low-income families through Volunteer Build Events,” Patrick explains. “A vital aspect of connecting volunteers with community is the fact that it is a mutually beneficial exchange. Stereotypes and preconceived ideas are challenged, hearts are changed and lives are transformed.”
“Volunteers often report that they receive far more from the experience than they give,” says Patrick. “We see the volunteer build program as a vital catalyst for broader, long-term development of the families and communities we serve; uplifting families from shelter-poverty to stability and self-reliance.”
An online partnership
It was on one of these builds – the 2011 National Youth Build – that Habitat for Humanity was introduced to Hetzner, through volunteers from Germany. A partnership developed from there, and Habitat for Humanity has been with Hetzner ever since.