Bangkok, 3rd May 2014 – More than 800,000 people took part in Habitat Youth BUILD activities. Spread across 11 countries in Asia, young people took action, raised money and increased awareness of the poverty housing situation in the region.
“The support for Habitat Youth BUILD 2014 is amazing and inspiring. More than 800,000 young people have built homes, painted community centers, sung songs, flash mobbed, collected donations on streets, cleaned neighborhoods, wrote pledges, marched to rallies, and more – all to draw attention to, and tackle, the issue of substandard housing,” said Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity vice president for Asia-Pacific.
“Moving into a decent home breaks the cycle of poverty, leading to better health, and improved education and employment opportunities. Young people across Asia are determined to help people make that break and create a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” continued Hathaway.
To find out more about Habitat Youth BUILD and donate, visit habitatyouthbuild.org.
In Nepal, hundreds of thousands of young people marched to major squares in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur in Nepal, for a rally. Comedian Sitaram Kattel, singer Nirnaya Shrestha, youth activist Santosh Shah, actress Reecha Sharma and TV personality Prem Baniya have been supporting the campaign for months, using their popularity to draw attention to Nepal’s housing deficit.
In Cambodia, 1,200 volunteers worked alongside rapper and artist Pou Khlaing to help build homes and develop a new community for families currently living on a dumpsite in Phnom Penh. Five thousand students also took part in events to raise awareness across the country.
In the Philippines, 6,000 volunteers spread across five locations to clear land and build homes, supporting families affected by recent natural disasters. Additional assistance came from basketball player Chris Tiu, actor Cesar Montano, and model and TV personality Anna Maris Igpit.
In Bangladesh, more than 125 volunteers built homes for seven families in Savar, and international school students worked on building a house in Sarawak, Malaysia. In South Korea, volunteers tidied and improved neighborhoods, and developed a social media app so local volunteers could send messages to Habitat Youth BUILD volunteers in other countries. More than 1,000 volunteers built homes across four sites in India.
A flash mob in Jakarta, Indonesia, drew huge crowds and participants. Habitat for Humanity Indonesia the support of Whulandary Herman, Miss Indonesia 2013, and ran an online photo competition asking entrants to visually express what a home means to them.
In Japan, more than 200 student volunteers secured donations from over 1,000 people on the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Oita. Yet more people participated in a workshop in Tōhoku, to discuss continued support for families affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami – particularly those still living in temporary shelters.
Takuma Kanzaki, 19, a sophomore from Nihon University Campus Chapter, led a street fundraising team which invited donors to develop pictures using origami paper. “We do not want people to forget about those affected families by Typhoon Haiyan or the Japan 2011 tsunami disaster”, said Kanzaki.
Musical duo Scrubb led the way in Thailand in April, as 500 people amassed to clean and paint a community center in Bangkok, and wrapped up the day with a mini concert.
Two volunteer groups also built homes in April, in Guangdong and Zhejiang, China, helping 56 low-income families. Yet more supporters donated, raising over 230,000 US dollars. Model Kelly Fu, singer and actress Stephy Tang, singers Siufay and Vivian Chan, and Olympic diving gold medalist Hu Jia added star power to the build events and helped raise awareness of the issue of poverty housing.
Join the Habitat Youth BUILD 2014 community on Facebook – facebook.com/groups/habitatyouthbuild.
Youth in 11 countries – Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and Thailand – have been campaigning on- and offline to garner support for the Habitat Youth BUILD movement since February 2014. Build experiences, awareness and fundraising activities have been taking place across the Asia-Pacific region, culminating in mass-participation events at numerous sites, across multiple countries, on 3 May.