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  • Writer's pictureGrowing Up Africa

On my way out of Devland, but before leaving?

Across the street from the campus entrance lives a young man known to me since he was 14 years old. I can describe him as small in stature, with a desire to change his life. He is taking a course in Health & Safety while picking up odd jobs to feed himself. A few years ago, he worked as a day labourer on the campus project, after school, and on weekends so he could purchase a computer. I have watched him grow into a responsible young man. This is very challenging when most youths struggle to find work or manage their lives, let alone "chase dreams for a better life."

The RDP house was left to him when his mother passed away. Looking at it, one frowns at the lack of upkeep? Family members pitch up and dump their "things." A bit overwhelming for this young man.

That's Lebo off-loading the truck with the help of some of his friends. Growing Up Africa has difficulty raising funds, but we sure break records with the most generous suppliers giving materials. Cemblocks delivers [ all the way from Rustenberg ] enough maxi-blocks to complete his perimeter wall. To date, Cemblocks has donated all of the maxi blocks, and with a bit of coaxing, Cemblocks agreed that a brick- face- brick would save on future maintenance and the cost to plaster. Cemblocks has donated all of the concrete mixes for the foundation, all of the bricks, and all of the plaster sand. As soon as the wall is built around the property, Cemblocks will donate the paving bricks for the sidewalk outside Lebo's property. Approximately R 52,000 material value to date, plus Joluka has donated all the brick force. PPC donated 60 bags of cement.

Lebo has never had an experience like this but is embracing the journey to learn. His only complaint: "I didn't realize how much strength this takes!" Teaching Lebo and his friends has been a real joy; however, disappointing that these young boys do not have mentors or others to teach them how to renovate, fix, learn.

So the uncle is giving Lebo a hard time about all the junk he has lying on Lebo's property, but slowly Lebo is winning him over. The taxi has been moved to a neighbor's property, and many of the shacks were removed, along with other "things."

Cemblocks delivers! The supplier that cares!

...and sometimes his cousins and friends come by to hang out and watch. On this day, the bricks had to be moved, ready for the bricklayer. When they saw Lebo working by himself, they wanted to help him.

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