Bratislava/Johannesburg, April 10, 2011 – Around 130 people gathered at the build site in Gauteng, South Africa, to build homes for low-income families. The volunteer group is formed by the employees of the world’s top steelmaker – ArcelorMittal. With the majority of volunteers coming from ArcelorMittal’s factories in South Africa and eight of them travelling from the company’s global offices – from Latin America, Europe and Asia. Side by side, working with local families and community members.
In one week, volunteers will build homes for eight families at the Orange Farm in Gauteng. For these families, it will be the first home that they have ever owned. The construction process will start from scratch – from mixing mortar and laying bricks on the first day to putting up roofs on the last day. ArcelorMittal also invited some of its customers and some of its suppliers to participate in the build with them.
ArcelorMittal’s employees from factories in South Africa frequently volunteer at the Orange Farm site. However, this is the first time they are joined by their international colleagues. “Working with Habitat is the perfect way to help and support our communities. Amongst other things, our employees get to volunteer and contribute to the communities where they live and work – and where we, ArcelorMittal, are making a difference”, says Asier Marquina, ArcelorMittal Foundation Project Manager for Western Europe and Africa.
Orange Farm is a township located 45 kilometers from Johannesburg. It started as an informal settlement in 1988 and was formally established in 1990. Today, it has almost a million residents. In addition to this build in South Africa, plans are underway for four more builds around the world.
The ArcelorMittal Foundation has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity since 2008. The world’s top steelmaker has teamed up with Habitat to build and renovate hundreds of homes as well as to create a groundbreaking steel-framed model of a durable, safe and affordable home. The first examples of this partnership were unveiled last year in Moinesti, Romania, where 12 families moved into their new homes built from steel frames.
Over the last three years, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has helped Habitat to support over 700 families. In addition building and renovating, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has generously supported Habitat’s reconstruction efforts in Haiti. To date, steel donated by ArcelorMital has been used in 310 transitional shelters. There are plans to build a further 1,900 units.
Source: press release Habitat.org
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