Ford Welcomes Families at Blue Village Housing Project in South Africa
It’s the thick of summer in the United States, but winter is descending upon South Africa and leaving many at the mercy of the cold. Ford is doing its part to help ensure that individuals and families in Langa, Uitenhage, will have temporary housing at its Blue Village until they are provided with more formal housing by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
“In line with the Ford Fund’s objectives of community upliftment and empowerment, the Blue Village project in Nelson Mandela Bay has become a beacon of hope for people living in impoverished conditions, which become even more dire during the cold and wet winter months,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.
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Blue Village will consist of 30 wooden homes built by partner and South African nonprofit the Al Fidaa Foundation. Around 40 individuals from Langa, Uitenhage, are currently housed in Blue Village’s 14 existing units; residents include young families, individuals with disabilities, and the elderly. An additional 16 units will be built pending the allocation of land by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
“With the support of the local municipality, the dedication of the team from the Struandale Engine Plant and implementation by the Al Fidaa Foundation, the project has been expanded further in this new phase in Uitenhage, which provides a warm and comfortable place that a further 14 families can call home,” Vella added. “This will dramatically improve the residents’ living conditions, as well as their safety and health.”
Blue Village grew out of a 2014 initiative started up by employees at the Struandale Engine Plant during Ford’s Global Caring Month. The creation of a settlement known as Vastrap, Afrikaans for “stand firm,” saw five shipping containers transformed into 10 homes in Booysen Park, Port Elizabeth. An expansion in 2015 added homes for an additional 10 families.
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