This is the second in a three-part series on customer experience lessons I learned from a recent South African trip. Last week, I shared insights gained from the African bush and this installment will feature the truths that emerged from time spent at an informal settlement.
While doing a public event in Johannesburg, I met a couple (Melody and Graham Mclean owners of SUPERMAC Hygiene). During a dinner conversation, Melody and I began talking about the informal settlements and she told me how a church outreach project led the couple to create a trust to support education at one of the townships.
Melody and Graham offered to host a visit to that township, which I eagerly accepted. The pictures that follow reflect life in a township – absent electricity and running water. They capture an environment where child-led households are not uncommon (for example, a 14-year old boy might be raising his younger siblings after the death of his parents to AIDs). The pictures also show the power of a small group of people who have volunteered to create a community center with a powerful mission to help alleviate suffering and create educational, social, and vocational opportunities.