By means of renovating, converting and subdividing five shipping containers, Detroit-based vehicle producer Ford’s Struandale engine plant has been able to provide housing for ten destitute families from the Vastrap informal settlement, in Booysens Park, Port Elizabeth.
The five containers were converted into safe and secure housing, along with a sixth container that was converted into a community centre, which will facilitate community meetings, doubling as a classroom and skills development centre.
The containers were installed in December and gave the residents a formal dwelling in the so-called ‘Blue Village’. This represents a life-changing upgrade from the dilapidated make-shift shacks they previously called home.
Two mobile toilets, providing essential ablutions facilities for the area, were also installed by the team from the Struandale engine plant, improving the sanitation in an area where basic services are lacking.
The new containers join the five existing units that were installed in 2014 as part of Ford’s annual Global Week of Caring. This also gives ten families a safe, comfortable and weatherproof environment that guarantees improved living conditions – particularly in the cold and wet winter months.
“We have enjoyed incredible support for the Vastrap container housing project, which started in 2014. We are delighted to launch this second phase that makes it possible to accommodate and improve the living conditions of 20 families in total,” Ford Struandale engine plant production manager Hyron Muniz said at the opening of the project.
“This project was only made possible through the generous support and dedication of our partners, starting off with the Ford Motor Company Fund that provided the funding for the conversion of the shipping containers,” he noted.