Service Project- Problem Identification/Assessment: Housing Problems in Varkplaas

In this community in Varkplaas, there are many problems with housing which cause the residents to endure constant hardships.  A major problem which we will be trying to fix is the leakage in the roofs of many residences.

As Tamarin told the class, many of these people live in shacks which they built themselves with recycled materials found on the side of the road.  As a result, they were poorly constructed and have flaws that cause uncomfortable, and sometimes, unbearable living conditions.  During the winter months, holes in the roofs of these homes result in wet and bitter cold conditions for residents.  These conditions need to be improved and it will be our mission to repair as many houses as we can during our time in this community.

I had previous knowledge that living conditions in parts of Africa are horrible, and in some cases, inhumane.  I knew that South Africa had poor areas, but thought that it was more developed and advanced than other African regions.  After talking to Tamarin, I realized that these people live in conditions that I cannot even imagine.  She opened our eyes to the extreme problems these people face, and the joy that we could provide them with our service.

It is necessary to find a solution to this problem.  These people cannot go on living in these conditions, action must be taken.  We must find a way to patch up holes in their roofs and make their housing more comfortable.  Finding ways to prevent water and sand from leaking into their homes will provide great relief to these people.  To fix this problem we must use sturdy materials and tools to correct the problems that exist in each structure.  We can purchase inexpensive materials while we are down there that will be able to hold up in the harsh winter weather.  Presently, their roofing cannot sustain the winter months. Our goal must be to find materials that will, not only fix the holes in the roofs, but prevent other leakage in the future.  I am looking forward to undertaking this project and I believe we will be able to make a huge difference in the lives of these people.


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