The second annual campaign launch of the Buy-a-Brick initiative, our Namibia team donated N$2 million to the Shack Dwellers Federation in the Havana informal settlement, located in the capital city of Windhoek, on 6 July. A 43% increase from last year’s donation proves Namibians’ genuine interest in uplifting countrymen who have fallen on hard times.
Launched in late 2015, the Buy-a-Brick fundraising initiative aims to alleviate Namibia’s housing shortage and has previously allowed us to donate N$1.4 million to the Shack Dwellers Federation, all raised through the sale of token bricks in the form of erasers. With those proceeds, over 40 houses were built in the small town of Rehoboth.
Earlier this year, Vetumbuavi Mungunda, Standard Bank Namibia Chief Executive, hosted a CE challenge, during which key stakeholders and captains of industry were invited to visit some of the Windhoek members of the Federation still living in shacks. Those members and their families are now the recipients of the donations, and their dreams of living in solid brick houses will soon come true. Federation members who are based in the Omaheke and //Karas regions will also benefit, as they, too, have been awarded loans to build new houses.
Mr Mungunda officially handed over this year’s N$2 million donation to the Shack Dwellers Federation in the presence of Sophia Shaningwa, Minister of Urban and Rural Development; Rachel Jacobs, Chairperson of the Regional Council; and Muesee Kazapua, Mayor of the City of Windhoek, among other dignitaries, many of whom commended our efforts to alleviate the housing shortage. Minister Shaningwa thanked us for mobilising the private sector and public to contribute to eradicating the country’s housing shortage, and Mayor Kazapua pointed out that, although our mandate is to make a profit, we have still taken the drastic decision to support the community.
According to Mr Mungunda, this corporate social investment initiative has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception, with each contribution chipping away at the scale of the housing shortage. He envisions that one day, Namibians may look back with pride to the many families they have helped provide with decent housing through the Buy-a-Brick community initiative.
“We will continue to strive to be relevant in the communities in which we operate, as this is reflective of our defined purpose as an organisation: ‘Namibia is our home; we drive her growth’,” he shares, explaining our interest in targeted CSI. “This purpose gives us our reason for existence and calls on us to face the realities of our home, Namibia, and work together within [that home] to find solutions.”