Women Power Alex Housing Project

The day has arrived where 71 families (we added two more) are going to benefit from houses in much the same way as those in Khayelitsha following the shack fire on New Year's day this year.

The description of the housing village has been documented, you have seen the pictures of the prototype and read about the concept.  What is not known is who was the driving force behind this most successful village.  It was two women.  If you want perfection, if you want productivity and output, if you want labour of love and compassion, if you want the dignity, the honour and the respect of the marginalised and downtrodden to be upheld, if you want obedience, discipline and forthrightness, all for a good purpose, then you need Gawa Sayed and Mpho Netshifhefhe.  These were the women who have delivered probably the most outstanding rural housing village on the African continent.  These women worked day and night supervising men, commencing at 6am and at times finishing past midnight, Monday to Sunday, driven by a passion to serve, acutely conscious of the needs of the masses of our people in this country.  How else can you complete 71 houses in 71 days and within another 15 days establish paved driveways, a communal kitchen with 71 gas stoves, children's park with beautiful lawn, a massive vegetable garden, an ablution block with hot water and flush toilets, a fence and 24 hour security.

Who can set up the interior of the house with beautiful beds, decorative linen, colourful towels and lovingly prepared food parcels and hygiene packs.  Who can win over the community, listen to their grievances, patiently engage them and get buy in and acceptance of what was being offered.  It could only be women with caring hearts and a deeply compassionate ear.  Gawa runs Gift of the Givers Cape Town office but is the official Project Manager of Gift of the Givers Housing Projects (this is our third development in under two years).  Mpho, from disaster management and the Gauteng Provincial Government,  epitomises what a civil servant should be, a role model par excellance who responded to every request and delivered on each promise, forward thinking in every aspect of the project.  Always wearing the most disarming smile, never worn down by the ever increasing speed driven demands of Gift of the Givers projects, Mpho has been a miracle.   Gawa and Mpho made it happen. We pay tribute to these two outstanding women whose spirit of ubuntu is nothing short of remarkable.

The housing village will officially be opened by Ms Connie September, Minister of Human Settlements, at 11am today.

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