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“ All charities are not the same. Only six years old, the Niall Mellon Township Trust aims to become the global leader and producer of low cost housing for the poor by 2010.

We are creating radical housing solutions to help address the current housing crisis in developing countries. We need special people to help us on this amazing journey.�

Niall Mellon

The Niall Mellon Township Trust hosts it’s 6th and largest Annual Building Blitz in Cape Town in November 2008. 2132 volunteers will travel to South Africa to build decent low cost housing. Plans are already underway for the 2009 Building Blitz. Can you join us as a volunteer in 2009? Can your friends, colleagues and family participate? Perhaps you would like to make a donation?


To implement innovative and impactful solutions to shelter needs, inuencing relevant policies and practices, while maximising the involvement of individuals and local communities and increasing the spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy.


Our History Motivated by the appalling poverty levels he saw first hand in the townships of Cape Town, Niall Mellon established the charity to provide homes for these impoverished communities. In the first year of operation, the charity built 150 homes, by 2007 this had grown to 5000 houses. The target for 2008 is to build 7000 homes. This equates to a new home for approximately 35,000 of South Africa’s poorest citizens. Currently in South Africa the charity has a workforce of over 1,700 people engaged in building quality homes throughout the year with the vast majority of this workforce coming from the townships. In this way, the Niall Mellon Townships Initiative is fulfilling another integral part of the charity’s ethos, training and up-skilling the local population in the day-to-day operations of the charity. We are now actively building houses in 10 townships in the Western Cape and 13 townships in Gauteng and although the charity has only been in existence for 6 years, the Niall Mellon Townships Initiative is now the largest charity provider of low cost homes in South Africa, producing 20% of low cost homes in Cape Town and 15% of houses in the Johannesburg region. From small beginnings, the charity has expanded significantly in the past 6 years, and in 2007, the Niall Mellon Townships Initiative was incorporated in the U.S.A. and is a 501(c)(3) organization.

“ Thank you, thank you, thank you. In recognition of the outstanding contribution made by you to the poorest people in South Africa, a sincerest thank you for building a better world.� Archbishop Tutu

Our challenge is getting bigger. The housing crisis. 2.2 million South African families are in desperate need of housing.

Our response. Build the World’s ďŹ rst charity led Super Housing Factory. Recruit 1,000 volunteers annually to build houses in South Africa. Fundraise to build 40,000 houses in South Africa by 2010 In 2007, the Niall Mellon Township Trust will have built over 5,000 low cost houses in South Africa. In 2008, we need 1,000 volunteers to continue this fantastic work.


150 Volunteers, 25 houses, 1 week


350 Volunteers, 50 houses, 1 week


700 Volunteers, 106 houses, 2 weeks


356 Volunteers, 70 houses, 1 week


1,350 Volunteers, 200 houses, 1 week


Volunteers required

Our response to the housing problem The housing crisis. 2.2 million South African families are in desperate need of housing. We adopt a twin track approach to cope with the current housing demands, balancing traditional building practices with new and innovative approaches.

Year-round building


The Irish have always had a tradition of volunteering in the developing world and this is reected in the number of missionary groups and NGOs operating out of Ireland. Volunteering and service forms part of the fabric of Irish society. Since 2003, 2500 volunteers have enrolled to take part in our annual week long building blitz and in November of 2007, 1380 volunteers travelled en mass to Cape Town on the biggest ever Blitz. They built 203 houses, a community centre and a Garden of Hope project in Freedom Park in six working days. This was the largest ever exodus of Irish Volunteers. The target number of volunteers for 2008 is 2000.

To date, the Niall Mellon Townships Initiative has built over 6000 houses for some of the poorest families in South Africa. We employ a local workforce of over 1700 workers, the majority of whom come from the impoverished townships in which we are working, and in doing this we are also providing vital employment and skills training to those living in the townships.

Some of the 1380 Volunteers - Freedom Park, Cape Town, South Africa - November 2007

Help with the World’s first charity led Super Housing Factory

We desperately need to take families out of tiny wood and corrugated iron shacks into proper homes.

The timber frame house goes into production at the Super Factory and assembly begins.

All walls, doors, hinges are fitted and assembled on the factory floor.

Thje timber house is then flat packed onto the lorry for delivery.

Rapid deployment of the timber frame structures makes building homes a high speed process.

The benefits of factory made housing Only one tenth of a standard labour force is required to achieve the same level of production as traditional methods High quality control Speed of construction Enhanced delivery capabilities

Ease of implementation and set-up Demonstrating house building innovation Environmentally friendly Super Housing Factory will demonstrate feasible solution to the global housing crisis

Become a partner in the process of global change

“ To improve the life of a child is our greatest reward. Your project is doing great work.� Nelson Mandela

“ It’s over poweringly positive. The first year I remember thinking, “Sure, how can we possibly make inroads here, there’s so much to be done?” But we did. And every year you go back and see more and more of the brick houses and visit the families who live in them.” John Moore

“ We visit a lot of projects but this one

is truly special. Simply fantastic.� The Corrs

Help us help them Become a volunteer Make us your charity of choice. Host a fundraising event. Donate a site for Africa. Sponsor a house.

To make a donation: Ireland call: + 353 1 494 8200 USA call: + 1 202-547-0946 E-mail: Donate online at: or simply visit your local bank and make a donation.

Bank account details: Bank: Allied Irish Bank,Terenure, Dublin 6W, Ireland. Account Name: Mellon Township Ltd (current a/c) Account Number: 15806075 Branch Number: 93-13-30 IBAN: IE73 AIBK 9313 3015 8060 75 SWIFTBIC: AIBKIE2D

“ I’m feeling very happy. I have been living in a shack for too long, but now I will feel safe and warm in my new house with my two girls and boy” Township Resident

Improving the quality of life for our children is high on our list of priorities. There is a proven link between improved living conditions and a child’s social and academic skills. Studies have shown that children from decent, permanent homes perform better at school and interact better socially than those children who live in a shack. This improvement has been experienced ďŹ rst hand by the teachers of children from Imizamo Yethu, Netreg, Mfuleni and Freedom Park who have moved from shacks to houses over the past ďŹ ve years.

Each year we need the help of 1,000 volunteers. From the outset, the volunteer aspect of the Township Trust has been hugely important, attracting increasing numbers, funds and media coverage each year. By the end of 2008 approx 5,000 people will have volunteered to travel to Cape Town to take part in the Township Challenges to date. Our volunteers are growing and include people from Ireland, South Africa, United States, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland, France, Holland and Germany.

Every human being has a basic right to adequate shelter.

The work goes on. Every year, even after our volunteers have completed the Challenge, work continues. The employment of township residents is a vital component of the Trust’s work and we currently have a workforce of 1,500 South African men and women. It is through these relationships that we can get to know them and learn about their way of life, their needs and how we can work together to provide long term solutions to some of the issues that they face on a daily basis. Furthermore, employment offers the township people the opportunity to gain experience, develop skills and enjoy the job and ďŹ nancial stability they so desperately seek and deserve.

Niall Mellon

Founder, Niall Mellon Township Initiative

Helen Zille

Mayor of Cape Town

Richard Dyantyi

Provincial Minister of Local Government and Housing, Western Cape

Tom Fitzgerald Veteran volunteer

When a child moves from a shack to a house She will perform better at school She will be healthier She will be happier She will even live longer

Hugh Brennan

CEO South Africa & Ireland

We need you.

Every year since 2003, volunteers have fundraised tirelessly, left families and jobs at home and travelled half way around the world to help people they have never met. Annually we need 1,000 volunteers to be part of the Challenge. In South Africa 1,000 people die everyday from AIDS. Better housing helps them live longer. We need 1,000 volunteers to join the challenge in 2009 to help us with our aim to provide adequate shelter and protection to these people.

“Helping to change the lives of a number of families in Cape Town and provide them with what every Irish person regards as a basic human right was most definitely a life changing experience for me.” Claire McCormack 2005 Volunteer

Join us on our journey in 2009 What can you do to help? We’re not only looking for qualified builders; applications from non-builders make up around 20% of volunteers. If you are physically fit, are passionate about making a difference and willing to give up a week of your time we want you. Every bit of help counts.

If you would like to participate in the Township Challenge you must raise a minimum of ₏5,000 ($7,500) as sponsorship. Approx 50% of this will go towards your ight, accommodation and upkeep for the week of the Building Blitz and the balance will go directly to the charity.

For further information on the Township Challenge please call us:

Ireland: + 353 1 494 8200 USA: + 1 202-547-0946 South Africa: + 27 (21) 426 2540 or e-mail us at: Download our 2008 application form at:

Building houses

Transforming lives

Niall Mellon Township Trust. Taylor’s Three Rock, Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, Ireland.

Niall Mellon Township Initiative. 6 E Street, S.E. Washington, D.C. 20003 Contact: Laura Turkington

Tel: + 353 1 494 8200 Fax: + 353 1 494 8250 E-mail: Web: Charity Reg. No: CHY 16238

E-mail: Tel: + 1 202-547-0946 Fax: + 1 202-547-8258 Web: The Niall Mellon Township Initiative is a 501(c)(3) organization. Registered Charity ID: 20-8689241

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