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After 30 years in a shack, Berseba couple takes ownership of their own proper house

After 30 years in a shack, Berseba couple takes ownership of their own proper house

The elderly Sam Goliath and his wife, Maro Elize, a Berseba couple whose only home for more than thirty years was a tin shack, recently moved into their own proper brick house, built from their accumulated savings as members of the Shack Dwellers Federation, with further financial assistance from Standard Bank’s Buy-a-Brick scheme.

Twenty eight Berseba residents received homes of their own of which 20 were build through the Buy-a-Brick initiative and eight by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development. This pioneering scheme, run in collaboration with the Shack Dwellers Federation, is turning the lives around of hundreds of people across the country.

Still somewhat stunned by the prospect of living in a brick house, Elder Maro said “This house was built with just 10 cents. That’s all we had to start with. It started with saving 10 cents, then another 10 cents and another and before we knew it we were saving a lot. That’s all you need to build your house too.” The funds from Buy-a-Brick to the federation, were the final financial boost she and Sam needed to start building a home for themselves.

“When we first heard that we would be able to build our homes last year we didn’t believe it because we have been waiting for such a long time, however it all became real when we saw them laying the foundation to our home,” said Maro.

“When we set out to partner with the Shack Dwellers Federation to alleviate the housing shortage, we knew it would make a big difference in people’s lives, however seeing Maro Elize’s reaction has just brought a deeper understanding of what it truly means. We are not only building homes but we are giving people hope for the future, we are lifting them from the shackles or poverty and we are giving them dignity to live out the rest of their lives in comfort,” said Standard Bank’s Head of Marketing, Communication and CSI, Magreth Mengo.

In her great wisdom, Maro added “I want to thank God for inspiring the people behind the Buy-a-Brick initiative because without them we would not have a decent home. l would also like to urge anyone who doesn’t have a home to join the Shack Dwellers Federation so they can empower you to also get one.”


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.