Housing Upliftment Project

January 23rd, 2016Posted by Neil Clark


Make a difference in the world today!.. and see the above house now!

This is our story

Hi all

Please let me know if anyone is in a position to help, big or small, everything will be appreciated and please send on to any of your friends, colleagues and family who you might feel would be willing to help as well.

I have finally managed to make a wishlist and have managed to get a quote from Buco Building Supplies for all the building materials for the two houses with fencing, guttering and a small jojo tank for drinking water.

The idea is that we need to raise funds for the materials and we will get together a team of about 10 people from the community who are prepared to help build and learn skills as they help. There will be no payment of any kind for the labour but on the day one volunteer will be in charge of providing food and drinks. Neil gets a discount on his purchases at Buco and this saving will be used to cover the cost of the food and drinks.

The one house belonging to the old lady (see pictures above) is a badly constructed mudhouse which leaks through the roof and walls as there is no overhang or gutters so the walls stay damp and erode and the floor is mud and when rain runs down it makes the floor wet. There are no windows to ventilate the house. The electrics are also dangerous. There are two beds, one for the old lady and one for the young girl. They make a fire outside on a piece of corrugated iron and when it turns to coal they bring it in for heat. As you can imagine this is really bad for someone with asthma and in a house with no windows.

The second house belongs to a young man, his girlfriend and young child. The corrugation he is currently using was old sheets we used for our chicken coop and it is full of holes which means that the roof and house leaks badly. There is also no opening window as they have no glazing. The floor is mud and the rain runs off the mountain behind them straight into the house making the floor wet and constantly damp. They have a small bed for the 3 of them and a gas stove which we gave them as they have no electricity connected. The house and site it is on is not levelled. He is very keen to start a vege garden but before he can needs a proper house with some furniture to make it habitable.

If this works and the volunteers show up to help us then the idea is that we will then identify the next two most urgent homes which need attention taking into account the following: How many people living in the home, how much income coming into the home and from where and is it constant or piecemeal and also if there are young children in the home or sick or elderly people. Where possible those who have been assisted will then assist with following projects in whatever capacity they are able to and in this way give back. In theory this should work well but we will have to see in practice which is why we are starting with two houses and will see how these go before embarking on a much bigger project. We will post pictures on our website constantly so people can see what we are doing. You will see that I have added a couple of extra things to our wishlist.

Porridge Feeding scheme

I would like to do the following:Start a porridge feeding scheme at school. I believe that there are children who come to school hungry. They get lunch but I think that there are children who don’t possibly get a good supper or breakfast and this would make studying very difficult. There are 140 children at the school currently. A 10kg bag of mieliemeal costs about R80. I will need to try and work out how many children this will feed to be able to work out how much we need to buy every month. Before starting this I will need to chat to the acting principal and see how it can work so will wait with this. Books – the reading corners in each classroom are very poorly stocked with books and they desperately need more books. From grade 1 to grade 12. Computers – the school has no computers so these children have absolutely no computer skills and in an age that is so reliant on computers and the internet a computer room with training is vital. Hot water bottles, blankets and gas heaters – this would be a great project for next winter and if we can start now should be able to make a real dent for freezing weather next winter. Old Clothes and shoes – this is really tricky so I think in future what we could do is have a sale day at the end of each month when people get paid their grant monies etc We could then sell all donated clothes etc at a very low cost to make it affordable and the money generated from this will go towards another one of the projects we have started. Secondhand furniture for the teachers staff room.

These are all short term solutions but we hope at least to alleviate some of the hardships and with skill development by building and fixing houses and the computers and books at least there will be some development. The big project will be to skill people up to become more employable and then to try and assist them with finding work. I will be sending a letter to the municipality for the leasing of the old Piet Retief Orphanage which is empty and dilapidated at the moment. The idea would then be to apply for funding, use members of the community who want to acquire some kind of skill, use the members of the community who have various skills to teach and then firstly fix up the building learning building skills as they go and once the building is habitable then setting up rooms as workshops for carpentry, metal work, sewing etc as well as agricultural projects. The Community could then rent out the facility for events and money generated from this could go back into more projects.

Vegetable Garden Project

We also want people to start growing their own fruit and veges and the school already has a small vegetable garden which could be increased. They currently work with an NPO called Umthathi and we would like to grow this project to include home gardens. Before we can do this however the gardens have to be fenced as the livestock which walk around unchecked as well as wildlife make this impossible until it is properly fenced. We would also like to start a garden competition in the village including the location garden and we could get nurseries and donors to sponsor seeds, fruit trees and garden implements for project and prizes. These are just some of the short, medium and long term projects which could make this little village truly self sufficient and inspirational. Will start with baby steps and see what the reaction and input is from community, municipality and donors. We will be running the Riebeeck East Project through the IBHABHATHANE COMMUNITY CENTRE (the crèche which is an Non Profit Organsization) and has been running for past 5 years and if the project is successful will explore the possibility of establishing another NPO. In the meantime to kickoff the project of the two houses all donations can be made into the bank account of the IBHABHATHANE COMMUNITY CENTRE as follows:






NPO NO: 077808 PBO NO: 930037089 REFERENCE NO: REHP15 Please send confirmation of all donations to me at : cary@imaginet.co.za so that I can keep track of them as we will only start first house once we have the necessary funds in place to do so. All donations for the project will be much appreciated and all progress will be recorded on our website www.riebeeckeast.co.za and anyone wanting to find out more about what we are doing are welcome to contact me by email at cary@imaginet.co.za. All input and ideas also welcome. Keep well and thanks so much. Kind Regards Cary, Neil and the Riebeeck East Community .

Should you consider being part of this project and want to show your support whether it be financial, your skills or joining us on FaceBook do not hesitate to contact us.

15th jUNE, 2016Email Cary Clark or cell: +27 74 618 8747