Simon Bray talks on the Expresso Show about how Private Property supports LIV Village.
Reporter: We're taking a look at how Private Property are giving back to the community. They're involved with LIV Village in KZN, and we're finding out all about it. Why is it so important for a company like Private Property to take part in social responsibility projects?
Simon Bray: I think that's a no-brainer. We live in a country that's filled with a lot of need, we're straining with various economic problems in the country: unemployment, issues around HIV, TB, low standard of living for a lot of our populace. So we're a business that's doing well, we're a business that's thriving. It needs to realise that it's part of that same ecosystem, and it needs to give back. It needs to try and improve the lives of other people. So Private Property, I think due to its values and its philosophy, it's a no-brainer to get involved with projects.
Now when I heard about LIV Village it absolutely blew my mind, but for anybody who hasn't heard about it yet, what exactly is it?
It's a really cool model. And I think it's quite close to home for Private Property as well. So the concept is to create a village. You've got moms who otherwise can't find employment or are living rough on the street, and they get taken in and they get to look after parentless children. So children that don't have families come into the village and they're placed there, they're educated, they're fed, they're looked after. But what's interesting is instead of institutionalising it, it's run like a village. It's run like a family. So each little house has got a mom and a few kids and they operate as a little family unit. And I think that's what is really appealing about the model, and I think exciting for us to be involved.
Tell us more about this year's project.
Well, a great thing-- they're growing and growing. LIV Village has been something that we've supported at Private Property for years. We've done small things like give all our old computers, of which we had many, to them and they then created a learning centre for the kids. As well as supporting them in some of the bigger campaigns like they're running this year. They're growing from what is now about 40 of these homes with 150 kids. They're growing to 96 homes and that'll give them capacity to look after 600 kids. So it's a huge growth story for them. But the campaign that they've hit on is really cool actually. Private Property's motto is "A home for everyone" and they wanted to turn these little houses in the village into homes. So they gave corporates like us the opportunity to paint the walls, hang the curtains, put gifts in the home, put furniture in the home, and kind of put a personal, warm touch on the home for the kids.
This is why it blew me away, because it's not just about providing a structure - which is also important having a roof over your head - it's about providing the very aspects of what makes a home, a home. And when you bring together these moms and these kids, you give them something that is way more precious. You give them family and that's beautiful.
It's great for our family as well. You know, our business, the staff - the dedicated staff we've got - all get involved in the projects. We had a few of our staff members, there painting out the homes, hanging the curtains, putting in the pot plants. But we also had our staff swimming the Midmar Mile, we do that every year and we raise money through that charity event, and give that to LIV Village. So they're ways for our own staff to get involved and really kind of live out the values and principles that they've got through projects like LIV Village. I think our country needs great stories like this and great models of sustainable charitable giving. That's what I like about it.