In 2009, we built a home for Khethiwe and Sipho. Their mother was not in good health, and she wanted, more than anything, to know her children would have a safe home to live in. A team of young people from Orlando, Florida, along with some local youth, came together to make this mother’s dream come true. One of those youth was Lennon Malambe (far left in photo below). Read his story of how building a home for someone in his own community of Embonisweni, South Africa greatly impacted his life.
What was your first involvement with Ten Thousand Homes?
The first project I did was to build a house for a lady and her two kids, Khethiwe and Sipho, in 2009.
How old were you at the time?
I was 20 years old.
What made you want to be a part of building a home for this family?
I saw the place they were living in, and I had always wanted to be a part of something that would change someone’s life. When the opportunity came, I didn’t hesitate to be a part of it .
Being from the same community of Embonisweni as Khethiwe, how did you feel when you saw her house and heard her story?
I was very shocked that people can live in such a poor house, especially when I saw the roof was made of plastic. It broke my heart, because I knew that I complained when my roof at our house leaked. I wondered how they felt since that roof didn’t protect them from anything at all.
How did the experience of building a home for Khethiwe impact your life personally?
Well, I knew from then that I needed to live a life of generosity. That’s why, when we finished building that house, we sat down with a couple of guys and talked about what can we do to give in the community. That’s when we started collecting clothes and giving them to children in schools.
In 2010, Lennon joined the Ten Thousand Homes team and continues to serve full-time in South Africa. Not only is he committed to bringing transformation in his community, but he’s also on the leadership team of our local project in White River. Helping to build a home for Khethiwe and Sipho was just the beginning of being impacted to live a life of giving back to others. In 2015, he took generosity to a whole new level when he donated a portion of land left to him by his parents in order to build a house for a single mom.
To learn more about how you can be involved in Ten Thousand Homes projects, visit here.