The Fuller Center for Housing Western Cape, South Africa, held its first new home dedication April 2 for the Meyer family. The home was dedicated to the late Dr. Jeannivee Guthrie, who came to Americus, Georgia, with Bishop Louis Green in 2013 to begin planning the development of The Fuller Center’s first covenant partner in South Africa.
“The dedication of this first house built by The Fuller Center for Housing Western Cape, South Africa, is a step in the right direction,” said Green, the president and CEO of FCH Western Cape. “We do not have the resources to convert every shack in Cape Town into a decent, livable home. However, we have brought relief and comfort to at least one family here today. And that is all God demands of us all — to do the best we can with what we have.”
Green, who served as a member of the South African Parliament during Nelson Mandela’s presidency, said that more than 14 percent of households in South Africa live in informal shacks or inadequate backyard dwellings — a number that rises to more than 19 percent in Western Cape.
“The challenge for decent, affordable housing in South Africa is huge, and it cannot be resolved by government alone,” Green added. “Every other institution, including the church, has to play a significant role in addressing the scourge of poverty housing.”
Among those with whom Green and Guthrie met during their first visit to The Fuller Center’s Americus headquarters in 2013 was Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola, who has been in regular contact with the South Africa team throughout its startup and is pleased to see the project now taking flight.
“We have a diligent and passionate team in South Africa, and we’re proud of them,” Iafigliola said. “They’ve worked so hard to get to this point, it almost seems like the end of the journey. But for them we know it’s only the beginning!”