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Women for Housing for Women

Hanneke Pretorius

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ~ Nelson Mandela

In South Africa, 2.1 million households live in informal settlements and,

225 000 of these are within North West Province. Typical issues in informal settlements include the absence of formal electricity, water and/or sewer services as well as high crime rates. With government upgrading programmes in process, this phenomenon is a permanent reality for many who may not qualify for the upgrading programmes. It is estimated that female-headed households constitute 40% of the informal settlement households in South Africa; and 30% of those in the North West Province.

Women are more vulnerable than their male counterparts and the general wellbeing, safety, security and stability of children and families are often the responsibility of women.

The Women 4 Housing 4 Women programme was developed to improve the lives and livelihoods of women living in adverse conditions. Through the programme, we reach out and assist women with their housing structures and anything related thereto (such as electricity, water and sewer). The individual stays part of the programme as their needs evolve and continue. Stewardship and taking responsibility by the beneficiary are important components of the programme.

Maria Ndakana is our first beneficiary in the Women 4 Housing for Women programme. She lives in an informal settlement in Ikageng (Potchefstroom) without any services. We are happy to report that since May 2020, Maria’s roof has been repaired again, a stoep, including a small bench with decorating flowers, has been added to her house and a new door with a lock was fitted for the family’s safety. Her chickens now also have a chicken pen.

While busy with the upgrading of her structure, a fellow from Brits visiting family close-by Maria’s house came up to Pieter Pretorius and said: “There is hope for this country, brother.” On another occasion, arriving home from work one day, Maria was greeted by an acquaintance resting on her bench and enjoying the shade for a moment.

With our competent team, we can assist women to improve their livelihood while being stewards of what they have and standing in relationship with Touching Africa network members. Through empowering these women, they can ultimately change the destiny of their children and the community around them.

Touching Africa invites you to get involved in this exciting project – making a tangible difference in the lives of the women around us!!

Please contact Hanneke Pretorius 072 580 7530 for more information on how you can be involved in this initiative.

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