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"All sustainable success in life comes from being knowledgeable,
obtaining wisdom and systematically implementing wise decisions."
Rian Maartens 2008
 
The Ipic Group gives back to the community: Printer friendly page

A day out in Mfuleni with Habitat for Humanity

Rian Maartens, CEO of the Ipic Group, decided to combine a community investment with a company team building exercise by getting involved with Habitat for Humanity. Ipic Group has sponsored the Organisation in the past but never been physically involved, so the outing to Mfuleni was a first for the group.

Habitat for Humanity initiates projects that address the housing needs of various communities in South Africa. Habitat’s projects are driven by community committees which consist of volunteers from the community, who are heavily involved with selecting suitable beneficiaries, home owner education and also the actual construction process. Habitat themselves are involved in the whole process, monitoring the progress throughout, as well as providing training to ensure the longevity of the completed house.

Each house that is built by Habitat volunteers takes roughly five days to be completed. The Ipic team were split into two groups to work on two separate but adjacent houses. Home owners, Nosebenzile Ndabangaye and Nozama Carol Xesha joined the respective teams. The Ipic teams joined the project on day 3. Day 3 activities included building the interior walls of the houses from start to finish. After a briefing of what the teams would be undertaking and a war cry session of “Dugga, dugga, dugga, gooi, gooi, gooi” the two Ipic teams departed to their respective sites, keen to get their hands dirty.

At 11h00 the teams were treated to tea and Igwinya (vet-koek) sponsored by the home owners to show their appreciation. One Ipic employee noted:

‘The hospitality in the township is so unexpected; the experience has really challenged my preconceptions about township life and the people who live here’.

By 14h00 the interior walls of both houses were near completion. Team A completed their work earlier than expected and joined team B for the final stretch. For the last hour the Ipic teams worked together to complete the other house. The project team leader noted in his closing words that it was fantastic to see the collaboration between the teams.

At 16h00 the Ipic group departed from Mfuleni with new found respect for a builder’s strength and endurance. All the staff took with them the unique experience of having been a part of a process that changes people’s lives for the better.

Here’s what some of the staff at Ipic said about the experience:

“ I am very optimistic [that] there is a brighter future for the country.”

“ I got a great sense of satisfaction from the day …knowing that my contribution will change one family’s life forever.”

“ [the day out] gave everyone the opportunity to give back to the community in a very real way.”

“ I loved every moment of it…”

“ Ek dink om so iets te doen bring ‘n span nader aan mekaar en jy kry ook nuwe respek vir die mense om jou.”

“We have a great team at Ipic, it makes me proud to work for a company where the staff care for one another.”

“ Ek sal dit enige tyd weer doen. Dit was ‘n ervaring wat ek nooit sal vergeet nie.”

“Although we were all very tired at the end of the day, we left the site smiling…”

“ I have never seen my boss, in all 21 years of working with him, work so hard. It was a very rewarding experience.”


For more information about becoming an investor, builder or social transformer with Habitat for Humanity, please visit: www.habitat.org.za

   
 
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