What Do You Do When a Fire Erases Your Home?

<em>Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay.</em>
Imizamo Yethu, Hout Bay.

There was a fire in the suburb of Cape Town where I live (part-time) this past weekend. 4,000 homes burned down, 15,000 people were made homeless. Most of them are currently residing on a soccer field.

A tent is better than the street. A cottage better than a tent. A house better than a cottage. A mansion better than a house.

Living on the street while building a mansion will do very little for your current reality.

Most of the people in the township who lost their homes lived in shacks. Shacks they built themselves.

Now the government is working with the community to rebuild the township in a planned manner where sanitation, water and electricity work a lot better. Where the risk of fire is less because the materials are better and the fire engines have street access.

When we lose something we have a chance to rebuild our lives. To create something better. The truth is, we don’t have to lose something to do that though. We can start right now. Tiny problems sometimes grow into bigger ones and many tiny problems can create a lot of distress. Waiting for a fire is not helpful (and will create a lot of chaos once the fire hits) and working on a mansion when you live in the street is idiocy.

There is always something you can do right now to make your life a little better by improving the infrastructure. Don’t wait for the roof to fall down before you do so.

I work with the Little Angels not-for-profit and 37 of the kids in our crèche lost their homes. Liezl and the team at Little Angels have been rallying around for the angels, while Anthony, a friend of ours, has been rallying for the rest of the community. You can help support here.

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