This is truly a critical time for Ubuntu Design Group, and each step forward is greeted with a huge sense of excitement and anticipation. Developments continue to unfold every day as we continue to work on the Mtshali house project in Umbumbulu, and we are very excited to share these developments with you!
In the beginning of the project, we went through a bit of rough patch, as we were struggling to assemble enough finances to carry out the project. This resulted in our crowdrise campaign #BuyABrickBuildAHome which was an immense success, not only on the financial side but moreover in getting our message and mandate across to everyone that this is more than just a process of building a house; but this is a vision of building and empowering communities.
One of the major highlights that resulted in our fundraising campaign was being called in by one of the most famous and listened-to radio stations in Durban, East Coast Radio; where we would be able to share our story, background and the vision that drives us from day to day. Without knowing how far or successful this would turn out, we were simply blown away by the responses and reactions of the listeners, and this blog is dedicated to sharing the significant developments that have taken place in this project and more importantly to Ubuntu Design Group as an upcoming organization; all through the opportunity we were granted by East Coast Radio to share our story.
The first to reach out to us was an organization known as the Multiply Group, located in Umhlanga. We met them in their offices and discussed our work at length, where they were immensely impressed and inspired. The Multiply Group expressed their interest in partnering with us in future projects, as we aim to make Durban, and the whole of South Africa a better place for everyone who dwells in it.
This was followed by contact with Corobrik, one of the biggest hardware companies in South Africa, who offered to sponsor us with pavers, which provide safety for the family. Just like the Multiply Group, Corobrik also expressed interest of a prospective partnership in future projects.
Furthermore, we encountered Alulogic Showerlogic, who extended a tremendous gesture to us, of offering all of the windows for the house. Moreover, we got connected with Tile Adhesive, who donated the weber for the house.
Our connections also stretched to companies abroad, where we were connected A Better World (ABW) Canada. In this organization we met the owner, Eric Rajah, who personally donated $3000 towards the Umbumbulu project and sincerely offered to assist us in the guidance and mentorship of our organization. We are really grateful and excited by this prospect, and especially grateful to Jacqueline McCarty, who connected us with ABW Canada.
This project would have never been the impending success it is if it wasn’t for the Andrews University family, who have been a constant source of support and help throughout the whole process. Once again the Andrews family expressed their unwavering support, through the Pioneer Mission Church, led by Pastor Dwight Nelson; by firstly writing about us and our work, and also donated money towards our project. This was greatly received. Another entity in the Andrews family that reached out to help was the New Life Church, under the leadership of Pastor Michael Polite; and finally there was a donation made by the One Place Church under the leadership of Pastor James Murdock. We are entirely grateful to Andrews University and all its various structures that have continued to support our work.
One of the major developments that we are really excited about is the work we will be doing with Crawford Preparatory School, where they have invited us to do a presentation for their students on thee 18th of July, Mandela Day. This is as far as concrete discussions about the future went, but there is certainly a great sense of anticipation and excitement about a prospective partnership that could materialize in the long run, as expressed by both parties.
Lastly, we have just given a presentation at the KwaZulu-Natal Institute for Architecture, in order to spread the message and vision of Ubuntu to all the architectural entities in the province of KZN and solicit their participation in this amazing work. In this presentation, we met a gentleman by the name of Suren Indhul who was stoked by our work and he immediately reached out to his networks to aid us in our project and the company that came forward to assist us is 2C Projects, who will cover 70% of the remaining expenses to finish the project. Furthermore, Suren also offered to help us with mentorship on the growth and running of Ubuntu Design Group
Many heartfelt thanks go to all the mentioned people, organizations and institutions who have truly given the vision of Ubuntu hope and vigor. Through your support, we can look forward to the future with great excitement and anticipation!