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September 19, 2010

Barclays teams with Zibrant to help build houses for the underprivileged in Africa

Barclays has joined forces with its event management agency to put its money where its mouths is in its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR).

A team of 11 people from Barclays will be joined by a team of four from Zibrant to help make a lasting difference to homeless families in South Africa. The group will help build houses for the underprivileged currently living in the overcrowded, poor conditions of the shanty towns nearby to Johannesburg.
The team is due fly out to Johannesburg on 24 September and will be working to help achieve the goals of this Make A Difference (MAD) initiative, managed by The ABSA Foundation, which aims to build 1,000 houses and two community centres in Mogale City and Daveyton, Johannesburg.
Together, the Barclays and Zibrant employees will spend one week building one house and carrying out duties, under the guidance of two experienced builders, such as:
·         Moving and organising building materials,
·         Mixing cement by shovel
·         Brick laying
·         Clearing excess building material and rubble from the building site
·         Landscaping and tree planting (800 fruit trees will be planted for future food harvests)
·         Painting of external buildings and some internal areas
·         Fitting door and window frames
Fay Sharpe, managing director – sales and marketing at Zibrant, said: “This will be a life-changing opportunity for us.  We are ready to be both emotionally and physically exhausted, but it will be worth it for the contribution we can make to giving the lives of these homeless, underprivileged families, living in the unimaginable conditions of the shanty towns, a new start."
The MAD programme was started, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity (a non profit organisation assisting Government in building houses for the underprivileged people in the far reaching communities situated in Gauteng), in 2007 and since, the programme has seen over 147 houses built. The focus of the programme is on community building and sustainability and therefore two community centres are also being built, as well as houses, to ensure a sustainable and community-focused approach.  These community centres will offer a wide range of services, from HIV awareness programmes to provision of computers and internet access to help job seekers.

The team needs to raise £4,000 before setting off to begin this project and, among many other fundraising activities, are welcoming any donations via www.charitygiving.co.uk/zibrantinafrica. Ever bit of the donations made will be used to buy building materials for the house that they will be helping to build as part of this programme.

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