Photo Essay: Upgrading Child Headed Households

October, 2017 Housing, Upgrading and Service Delivery

By Dustin James Mason

October 20th 2017


Baphumelele Children’s Home (BCH), Habitat for Humanity South Africa (HFHSA), & People’s Environmental Planning (PEP) have partnered to provide emergency upgrading solutions to the homes of orphans & vulnerable young adults throughout Khayelitsha.

The Project was initiated by Baphumelele, who offer support to the families in the form of financial aid, educational & career support, counseling and legal advice. BCH works hard to provide the participants with homes, which is made possible by exterior funders. Baphumelele approached PEP with the interest of upgrading the basic shelters by addressing issues of water ingress & flooding, uncomfortable interior temperature, & general structural safety and security.

PEP began the engagement with participants through workshops, where the main issues facing the children were discussed and identified. Together we workshopped furniture solutions that were affordable and accessible to the residents, and co-designed and built prototypes for the participants to emulate and improve upon in their own homes. In these workshops we also surveyed the homes and developed a plan for upgrading, focussing on homes that were most at risk, but with solutions for homes at every level of priority.

Going forward PEP & Baphumelele approached HFHSA to join the partnership. With 27 homes planned for upgrading, we wanted to draw on each organizations strengths for the success of the project. Over the course of the last 2 months the partnership has completed upgrades to 6 of the homes, with upgrades including installation of new concrete floor slabs, addressing water ingress over door thresholds, providing insulation and boarding, as well as painting, which aid in regulating the temperature inside the homes. We also added flashing to the corners of the exterior walls to prevent the passage of cold air and rain to the interior of the home.

On October 2nd HFHSA provided our technical team with 15 volunteers, and we spent the day working on 4 different homes in RR Section. The day was a success and really cemented the partnership going forward. Together we are eager to provide all 27 homes with the upgrades that they require.

Furniture Building Workshop at Baphumelele.
Repairing and preparing a new concrete floor slab at Sibongile’s house in UT Section.




Installing new concrete slabs to three rooms at Fundisa’s house in R section, with help of Habitat volunteers.




Preparing and installing a concrete ‘stoep’ to prevent water ingress over the door threshold at Sisanda’s house in R Section.
Installation of insulation wool and boarding, as well as repairing the floor slab, and securing flashing to the corners of Pinky’s home in R Section, with help from Habitat volunteers.
Painting Nthswareleng’s home in R Section, in an effort to reduce the solar gain and regulate indoor temperature. As part of the next phase of work, Nthswareleng will also receive a new floor slab, insulation, and flashing.