Mtshali family

 Photo Courtesy of Stephen Allock    

Photo Courtesy of Stephen Allock 




Ubuntu Design Group reached out to the city of Durban to find a family who needed the most help. The city directed us to local tribal authorities, who then directed us to the neediest family in their community. And so we met the Mtshali family.


This one room space was the borrowed room/shack that the Mtshali family have been living in for the past 8 years.

The Mtshali family are incredibly resilient. The father, Nkosinathi, survived a tragic road accident; his wife, Fikisiwe, also lives with a disability. The family lost their house in a storm, which forced them to split up into separate accommodation, and the current shelter that Nkosinathi and Fikisiwe share is cramped and unsafe. They allowed their son to live with another family so that his childhood would not be traumatized with the lasting memory of their miserable living situation. Fikisiwe states, “I lift his father to an outside toilet, I feed him every meal he has, and I bathe him. Everything is difficult and we did not want to subject our child to that.”

The couple is receiving a government disability grant, but it does not sufficiently cover their monthly expenses, so owning a home that meets their specific needs and caters to their disabilities is currently far from their reach. The family desires to have a safe and happy home for both them and their son. They also hope to give back to their community and create a sustainable living situation by running a daycare from their house.

The Mtshalis family’s endurance and desire to help their community resonated with what Ubuntu Design Group stands for, and their everyday challenges also prompted us to choose them for our pilot project.


Rendering of the newly designed Mtshali Home by Andrews University Students.

Ubuntu Design Group and Andrews University’s Masters Architecture class is working together with the Mtshalis to turn their dream into a reality. These students and young United Nations world changers have already designed a home with the family that will cater to their needs and meet their disabilities, and have already raised half of the necessary funds to build the house.


Now we need your help to complete the project. We particularly need donations towards concrete blocks, roof materials, cement, and labor. To find out more, please visit the link below and help to change your global community.  

Love your neighbor as you love yourself
— Jesus