NGO that helps in times of dis­as­ter

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - PAIGE SUTHER­LAND

AF­TER the New Year’s Day Khayelit­sha shack fire this year, NGO Gift of the Givers rushed to help, promis­ing to build 100 new houses for the af­fected fam­i­lies, but end­ing up with 103, which were com­pleted in early May.

Th­ese houses, lo­cated next to the OR Tambo Hall in Khayelit­sha, were given to fam­i­lies in waves from March un­til May.

“When the fire broke out, we came here to see what as­sis­tance we could give,” said Gawa Sayed, project man­ager for the Gift of the Givers Cape Town’s of­fice.

“Nor­mally we give blan­kets and food, but th­ese fam­i­lies needed homes, so we were com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing that.”

The Gift of the Givers has pro­vided dis­as­ter as­sis­tance glob­ally, in­clud­ing in Haiti, So­ma­lia and Zim­babwe. Re­cently, it do­nated R2 mil­lion to help the Philip­pines af­ter Typhoon Haiyan dis­placed more than 500 000 peo­ple. Twenty mem­bers from the South African team were sent to the Philip­pines to help in the restora­tion process.

The to­tal cost of the hous­ing project in Khayelit­sha was R4m, with each unit cost­ing about R40 000. This did not in­clude the land, which was do­nated by the City of Cape Town. Each unit was equipped with so­lar pan­els, two lights, cell­phone charger fit­tings, dou­ble beds with linen, three ex­tra sets of bed­ding and sin­gle mat­tresses for chil­dren, a month’s sup­ply of food and much more.

The units are eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble by fire res­cue teams and built with mostly fire-re­sis­tant ma­te­rial.

To match the Gift of the Givers’ gen­eros­ity, the City of Cape Town built 100 new units on the same plot, but with­out any of the added ac­ces­sories.

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