Irish Man Builds Houses for Homeless in South Africa

Pictured here at the global launch in New York of the Niall Mellon Township Trust's radical plan to house 300,000 African homeless by 2010, are (L/R) Kieran McLoughlin, President of the American Ireland Fund, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and NMTT founder, Niall Mellon. Photo by Enrique Cubillo, Lantern Light Productions

December / January 2008

New York, September 24, 2007: Irish philanthropist, Niall Mellon, unveiled plans to build the world’s first not-for-profit housing super-factory in South Africa in response to the inability of traditional methods of house construction to keep pace with the growth of homelessness among the Developing World’s poor. The Irishman’s radical plans to build the first such factory near Cape Town got the backing of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the South African Government which donated the site for its construction.

Mellon unveiled the Trust’s plans in a media briefing at the office of The American Ireland Fund (AIF) in New York, where earlier he addressed a meeting of Irish-American donors in the presence of Archbishop Tutu. Giving the plan his strongest public endorsement, the Archbishop said “This bold initiative is the kind of solution we need in South Africa and elsewhere in the world where homelessness if the root cause of endemic poverty.”

President of AIF, Kieran McLoughlin said “Niall Mellon’s pioneering project underlines the contribution that modern Irish philanthropy is capable of making at a
global level. It is tremendous to see a new generation of successful Irish business people embracing the culture of philanthropy which is one of America’s greatest exports. It also reflects an unbroken tradition in Ireland of giving to the Developing World.”

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