As promised yesterday we're posting photos of the shack that Michael & Joyce are forced to live in (hopefully) temporarily. The first thing to say is that if we had a dog, we wouldn't let it live in these conditions! No-one should have to tolerate this and yet for many in Chris Nissen this is sadly the norm.
The shack seen from the front
Here you can see just how ropey the construction of this shack is
Viewed from the rear, things get no better
The shack seen from the road
This is the bed in the corner, as you can see the light is pouring in through large gaps in the walls, the roofing is wholly inadequate and the walls have holes dotted throughout
Close-up of the ceiling, once the rains come this will be a disaster zone as the roof & walls offer no real resistance to the elements.
Michael & Joyce have made the most of very cramped living conditions by adding a few 'homey' touches, but it's impossible to disguise the fact that they live in a tumbledown shack
So how can you help?
We have R3000 so far but need R12000 (£1200) to be able to provide Michael & Joyce with more permanent accommodation. If you can spare just a few quid it would really help! If you want to help, contact us via email or leave a comment on this post and we'll get back to you very quickly. Michael & joyce are not looking for freebies here as they are also willing to invest as much of their income as is necessary.
Why are we helping Michael & Joyce and not everyone living in a shack in CNP?
Quite simply because we have a very good relationship with this couple, Michael is a regular member of Dean's bible study group and they are in the process of becoming members at Helderberg Christian Church, as such we have a duty to reach out to them.
Why isn't the local church doing something?
We are! Unfortunately (or fortunately) the church is committed to several projects reaching out to the poor in Lwandle and CNP and as such we are quite stretched at present. That's why we need help from the wider body to try and meet this need.
Why the urgency?
Such shacks are illegal and the municipality is in the process of forcing homeowners to knock their shacks down, this one was supposed to have been taken down on Saturday. Also, the season is changing and winter is definitely on its way. In summer the Southeaster blows but in winter the Northwester blows in straight off the Helderberg mountain and brings fierce driving rains with it. This wind is also very destructive and it's unlikely that this shack would survive the whole winter. Even if the shack does survive, Michael & Joyce would definitely lose a number of their personal possessions to the rains (already one carpet has been ruined).
To those of you who have already helped, Thankyou!