The community of Shayamoya in Kokstad has celebrated with joy the official opening and blessing of the Ithembalabantu Centre that will serve their needs. The centre was built by Respond!, Ireland’s largest not for profit Housing Association, founded and headed by Fr Pat Coogan, OFM.







Since 2006, Respond! has been working to alleviate poverty in some of the poorest regions of South Africa. Central to all of Respond!’s work in South Africa is sustainability. Respond! aims to provide people and communities with the resources and skills to improve their community and their lives. Respond! builds communities, not just houses, and this philosophy is key to all of the work in South Africa.

In the township of Shayamoya, Respond! acting through its sister company in South Africa, Sivile, has constructed Ithembalabantu Centre (“Hope for the People”) which has the following facilities:

–  Respond! Training Centre for young people seeking basic skills; some 300 hundred have 

   signed up to date
–  Respond! Training Kitchen
–  Aged Drop-in Centre
–  TLC (“Tender Loving Care”) Drop—in Centre for HIV/AIDS and health programmes
–  Sakhesizwe Preschool
–  Multi-purpose Sports Facility
–  St. Nardini Catholic Church; this was financed directly by the Catholic Diocese and

   designed and built by Respond!



In the celebration participated Archbishop of Pretoria William Slattery, OFM,  Fr Pat Cogan, OFM, CEO of Respond Housing Association, Ireland, and the political and traditional leaders, priests and religious congregations and and people of Greater Kokstad. See Album


Watch the Youtube video.  Respond! are working in the Kwa-Zulu Natal provence of South Africa on three distinct projects, this film gives detailed information on these projects and the horrific conditions that the people in the area have to endure on a daily basis.


Also check out