We left South Africa 4 years ago this month to move to Dubai, originally from the UK. We embraced life in South Africa to the full. Peter working, child 4 and 5 in education and myself getting involved in full time volunteering supporting vulnerable children living in poverty.
We had 4 wonderful years here and desperately miss our friends here and I visit as often as I can (twice a year) to continue with the hands on volunteering work, delivering Christmas gifts in townships in Pretoria.
Last weekend I was in Soshanguve delivering gifts to 250 children, some of their housing conditions are heartbreaking as you'll see if you click this link.
This shack in the Alaskan Informal Settlement in a township called Mamelodi. This is home to a mother and father and 2 children. It is one room, where they eat, sleep and wash. There is no running water, there is no electricity, no toilet, no windows and the floor is mud.
So why is this shack painted like this?
4 years ago child 5 and I were working with an arts project to give the community a sense of belonging, to encourage members of the community to have pride in their homes, to join in, create some art, help and support their neighbours and create a sense of belonging and pride in their homes.
Child 5 and I camped in the community for the weekend, ate dinner, sang songs and was thoroughly looked after and entertained during our stay.
Can you imagine the whole landscape with shacks decorated? It would look stunning.