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Closed 31/10/2018



£0raised of £30,000 target by 0 supporters

    Weʼve raised £0 to Build 10 Houses for families in need in the Valley of 1000 Hills , Durban , South Africa

    Closed on Wednesday, 31st October 2018

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    Hi Everyone,

    Throughout the past 7 years I have been working with a Charity Lionsraw in Durban , South Africa.  In this time I've has the pleasure of working with 10 local workers in Durban. They have helped the charity build a school. This school has gone from 50 pupils to 650 since 2010. I have spent months working with these guys and built up a really close relationship. I have visited their homes, played football , had bbq's ,drank beer, with them and went to a local football game where I was the only white guy in a crowd of 2500 ( that was an experience ) . I keep in contact with them whilst I'm here in England.  I would like to help them by providing them with the resources to build a home for their families.

    Whilst working in South Africa I was talking to one of the workers uMdu about what the future looks like for him and the workers. He said that once the work has finished on the school there will be no more work. I spoke to him about working for people in the area, he said people don't have the money to build. 

    I then started to think of how we can help these workers who have helped grow The Steve Davison Primary school. They have helped others and I feel we can help them.

    One morning uMdu asked me if I could pick him up from the Police station. I asked him why and he said he needed to go to apply for a driving license that would allow him to travel with passengers. He said he needed to start to think about life after the school build. He was thinking about becoming a taxi driver . uMdu is a very talented tradesman who picks things up very quickly.  I had an idea in my head for a while but now I needed to move quickly. If we lose uMdu my plan for him the guys wouldn't work. I asked him would he like to continue building he said Yes, but he would like for people to work for him and he would oversee the jobs. I then told him the plan and it matched his ideal job.

    The plan is to build each worker a basic 4 room house. The house will be 7m x 6m. 4 windows, 2 doors , Timber frame metal sheeted roof. The project will give each of the workers a basic blocked house on their current plot of land.

    The project is work for the guys for 10-12  months, an Apprenticeship for the guys to learn how to build, lay blocks , roofing, guttering. Not only this, but it will provide each of the guys a home for them and their family. A solid home that they don't need to worry about it washing away when it rains and having to re-build it. It gives them continued work for the duration of the builds. I was there for 4 weeks in December 2015 and 2 weeks in April 2016 and the guys pick things up very quickly and produce some really good work.

    This will be a business opportunity for uMdu. He will be the business owner and the guys will work for him. He will then have built up a portfolio of work he can show to prospective clients, increasing his chance of finding more work out of the area once these builds have been completed.   Whilst I was in South Africa over Christmas I spoke to uMdu about pricing and running a site. He picked this up very quickly and was soon telling me how we should run the site. 

    Once the builds are complete we are hoping that uMdu can employ some of the guys to work for him. If our initial idea of uMdu finding work doesn't work, Plan B would be then to go to local builders to ask If they can employ the guys. We would offer to pay the workers 1st months wage. This will allow the builder to take the worker on for free and hopefully offer them a job. I will make contact with local builders. Either way at the end of it we have helped 9 guys work through an apprenticeship and help them build 10 of their own homes. 

    uMdu will be the foreman and guild and teach the workers through each build. Each worker will learn how to lay blocks, fit roof timbers, guttering etc.

    Firstly we need to agree on a price with uMdu to build a house. I will go through this with him to make sure it's fair for him and the workers. The first build we will need to be flexible ( within reason ) on the price. Using the first build as a guide. I will be visiting SA in December 2017 where I hope to start the first 2 builds with the guys. Once we know how long it's going to take the guys to build the first house we can then agree on a fixed price. I will go through everything as much as I can so we can get try and get it right first time. When speaking about pricing I suggested that he worked on 10% profit on smaller jobs such as guttering and 20% on larger builds. My suggestion would be that we hold back the percentage profit until all 10 builds are complete. Once all builds are complete uMdu will then receive the profit from each house they have built.

    We will also supply uMdu with a vehicle so he can access the sites easier, he will be able to visit the hardware store and pick up material if needed. He currently has no transport and has to walk . The vehicle will be owned by me and will be returned to me once all builds have been completed. If the project works i will give the vehicle to uMdu. We would also provide the team with the tools they need. uMdu has the majority of the tools but still needs a few things. 

    Each worker will be given working shirts, Trousers, shorts and boots.


    For the first couple of the builds I will organise materials for the jobs. Once were confident that he can do this I will ask him to carry out the ordering and organisation on the remaining builds. We will then just need to make payment as i will have control of finances. 

    We would build 9 identical buildings and 1 larger building for uMdu. uMdu would be the last to have his house built. We wouldn't want to build his house first and then he doesn't continue to build the others. This also keeps him focused on the task knowing he wont get his house until the others are built.

    We decided on who gets their house built first on age. The older guys houses will be built first.  If we build the younger workers houses first I feel they would more likely to leave the build once their house it built. The longer the younger guys are working the more they are going to improve their skills. The older guys already have building experience.

    A question which was brought up was  'what happens if the guy leaves once their house has been built? We then suggested a bonus scheme for the workers. They would receive a 10% bonus of their wage once all the builds are complete. The daily wage we are going to pay is R100, so for every day they work they will receive an additional R10 per day but would only receive this once all builds are complete. If the worker does not complete the build to the end he will not receive his bonus.

    We are going to pay them R100 a day and request that they pay R10 of this towards their house, this then makes them feel as though they earned the house and it wasn’t just given to them. We will explain this to them. 100R is the average wage for a non skilled worker in South Africa . That works out to be around £5 a day. Unthinkable I know.

    We will need to have guidelines and to instil discipline

    Lateness R20 per hour the workers are late

    2 absences without Pay

    3 absences - worker would be put to the back of the list for his house been built

    4 absence - remove off build altogether and not receive their bonus

    Now for the most important bit. We need to raise £30.000 for this project to go ahead. 

    £30000 will be to build 10 houses, This will cover materials, labour and a vehicle. You cant even get a small extension for that price in the UK

     I will donate £5000 and this will be to get the first 2 builds hopefully starting in December. So ideally I'm looking for 10 people to donate £2500 each to build a family a home. If you were unable donate that amount any donation would be appreciated.  I will send you updates and photos of the build from start to finish. I hope to provide the guys with tools and seeds to start their own vegetable gardens if there is any surplus money.

     I visited SA in April 2016 and met up with Build it, a builders merchants to discuss materials and pricing. I've managed to get a 10% discount on materials. I have currently got the build price to £2500 based on R20 to the pound .

    This is going to make such a difference to not only these guys live's but to the live's of their families also. The workers and their families live in Mud huts. When it rains , the rain destroys the mud hut and they then need to be rebuilt. Imagine that!! What a difference we could make to people's lives. These guys have helped other people over the past 7 years, I feel like I would like to help them.  These guys have helped the school to get to where we are today. The school wouldn’t be the success that is it without these workers. This is not just a project for 10 people, This is a project for 10 families, a lot of these guys live with there mothers, grand mothers, sisters, aunties , uncles, brothers, brothers children the list goes on. This project is going to help 100’s of people. Give the children hope for the future. Help them to realise that when you help others, others help you. A good life starts at home, were going to give them a solid house and a solid foundation for their future. How amazing would it be to re-visit the school and the families we forged a special relationship with and see them living in humane condition.  

    Im in contact with Umdu most days, chatting about life and work. He sent me a message last week thanking us for giving them ‘hope’

     I visited SA in April 2016 and went to view each of the sites where the houses will be built. I will self-fund all my trips to South Africa , all money raised will go directly to the build.  Would you like to donate the money for 1 of the houses were going to build? Would you be able to donate ? What an amazing gift it would be to give a family a home.

    I would like your input. If you can think of any other ideas to make this project work better, please let me know.

    If you know of  anyone who would be interested in Helping out please let me know.


    John Blackburn




    j blackburn

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      Page last updated on: 10/31/2017 5:19 PM



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