Ashoka Fellow
South Africa,
Fellow Since 1993
People`s Housing Partnership Trust-Dept. Housing


This profile was prepared when Dorelle Sapere was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1993.
The New Idea
Dorelle and the National Resource Center on Housing Structures she created start from the premise that, given adequate opportunity and support, each individual has the inherent ability to provide the most acceptable solution to their own housing needs and aspirations. The Center builds upon and strengthens existing community-based housing initiatives by helping them find and use affordable and acceptable building materials and by upgrading the local skills base. It seeks to mobilize human power and locally available resources on a massive scale to reduce South Africa's housing crisis.
The Center aims to build upon the existing skills base in local communities to transform existing natural resources -- such as earth -- into safe, efficient, and affordable construction materials. Through targeted assistance, the Center particularly seeks to strengthen women's historic role in shelter provision. It also seeks to open new employment possibilities for the unskilled by helping them learn improved construction techniques.
Dorelle's Center also is developing a user-friendly library of technological and resource data which monitors and assesses changing aesthetic needs and housing material preferences, while sensitizing communities to environmental issues affecting the building environment. It also facilitates the flow of information between communities, government agencies, and citizens' organizations, as well as develops mechanisms to engage financial institutions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You