Andrew Murray is using his construction skills to take part in a lifesaving building project in Africa. In his first blog he explains what his team from Multiplex are planning to do.
This is my first foray into the world of blogging, I should say that I am incredibly excited about this project and am grateful to Multiplex for investing in this trip and to Building for the online space to share my experience.
I am travelling to the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa to build a shelter for children who have been orphaned as a result of AIDS.
As one of the four volunteers from Multiplex UK (as well as four Australian/New Zealand colleagues), I will be participating in a project that has been set-up by the charity God's Golden Acre. Their mission is to address some of the issues surrounding the HIV/ AIDS pandemic, such as providing accommodation for orphans.
I don't think the extent of the trip will really sink in until we actually touch down in South Africa and get off the plane. While I realise it is going to be a tough challenge, I know that the end result will be incredibly fulfilling. A trip of a lifetime.
Before leaving the UK, our initial challenge was to raise funds for the building materials for the 'House of Hope'. The group has already managed to raise over £4,000 (well over the required £2,500) from extremely generous donations from an assortment of various family, friends and colleagues.
The building that we will be putting together will be a simple construction of stonework, with a tin roof and surface-mounted electrics. The site will be designated to us by God's Golden Acre when we arrive. The building materials are being arranged by a local supervisor who will also guide us in the construction.
The project will take three weeks. During that time we will experience the local building practices and meet the people that will benefit from our project. Additionally, we will have some recreational time, which I hope to spend helping with food drops and playing football with the local children.
I wanted to participate on this project to provide assistance to the charity project and possibly look at ways that the bigger companies in the developed world countries can benefit the poorer communities abroad.
Andrew is currently a site supervisor at the Peterborough hospital project working in design coordination. He has worked for Multiplex in the UK for six years on projects such as Chelsea football ground, Sentinel Point office building in Vauxhall and Knightsbridge apartments.