Picture: for illustration purposes

An Undertaking in Community Transformation: The Story of Love Howick

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In the bustling community of Howick, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, change is afoot, all thanks to Love Howick, a non-profit organization founded by Matt Hogarty. Motivated by a rich spirit of community unity and volunteerism, Love Howick presents a beacon of hope by engaging locals to become active agents of change in their environment.

The non-profit was established seven years ago, initiated by Hogarty's dissatisfaction with his surroundings, particularly in terms of cleanliness and local community services. However, it was his five-year-old daughter’s compelling question—the innocent yet profound interrogation of “Why don’t you do something about it?”—that truly inspired action.

Initiating a cleanup campaign that saw dozens of volunteers participate, Hogarty soon realized that people craved the opportunity to engage in tangible deeds of change. In their last fiscal year alone, Love Howick counted around 30,000 volunteer hours served throughout the region.

Today, the organization focuses on a multitude of community-centric initiatives, targeting issues such as youth unemployment and supporting entrepreneurship among young people. By nurturing an environment fostering collective effort, Love Howick has managed to maintain a consistent community engagement, undertaking various initiatives like pothole filling, trash collection, and brush cutting.

Furthermore, the organization has also bolstered a strong relationship with the local council, leading to fruitful partnerships that have extended to infrastructure development, job-skills programs, and environmental undertakings.

Looking to expand on their efforts, Love Howick is piloting a ‘Love Cities’ network to cultivate similar community transformation efforts in various parts of the country. The aim is to activate communities within the transformation process and share best practices that they've learned or "stumbled upon" in Howick.

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