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Yunnan Province, China

March 1, 2013 to March 11, 2013

Turn your compassion into action, see a breathtaking part of the world and learn about Chinese culture from a unique perspective. Join us on this Habitat for Humanity Global Village trip to China. We’ll spend our time building a home, a community and friendships.

No previous Habitat for Humanity experience or construction skills are required! Just pack a great attitude, adaptability, flexibility and a desire to experience new things.


Despite their country’s impressive growth, more than 150 million Chinese still live on less than US$1 a day.


About China
The rise of China as a new economic powerhouse continues to dazzle. China is a land where its historic past mingles with its optimistic, modern present. Over the past three decades, living standards have dramatically improved for many of the more than 1.4 billion people. However, rising prosperity has also sharply increased inequality, especially between those living in the countryside and those who live legally in major cities.

The World Bank estimates that about 150 million Chinese still live on less than US$1 a day, many in rural areas. Many of the chronically poor lack access to affordable housing, shut out by soaring land and house prices, and insufficient supply of low-cost accommodations.

About Habitat for Humanity China
Habitat for Humanity China was established in 2000. It began in Kunming, capital of Yunnan, one of China’s poorest provinces. Through the first eight years of Habitat’s work in China more than 650 houses have been built, multiple partnerships developed and additional offices opened in the country.

Yunnan Province
Yunann province is known for its outstanding natural scenery and the strong cultural identity of its ethnic minority groups. Due to frequent natural disasters, Yunann is also one of China’s least developed provinces.

The majority of families living in rural areas make their living from subsistence farming. Many live in primitive homes made of mud-brick walls and ceramic tile roofs. The houses have no sanitation or ventilation systems, and often both the family and livestock share space inside the home. The houses are uncomfortable, unhygienic and vulnerable to the floods and earthquakes that regularly flood the area.

As a Habitat for Humanity Global Village volunteer, you will make a difference and transform the lives of the people in Yunann. Global Village teams lift families out of poverty by helping the community build affordable and decent homes. Every brick you lay and every wall you build helps change the lives of the families in need of help, and you provide these families hope for a better future. Nothing is more important.

Types of construction for volunteers
Habitat works in China primarily in rural areas where homes are often made of unsafe structures. A typical Habitat home measures 70 square meters in size and the most common type of materials used are red bricks, stone, compressed earth blocks or wood supplemented with a tiled roof.

Global Village volunteers will typically be assisting in creating new housing for families in need.

Standard Itinerary
11-day itinerary

Day 1 (Friday, March 1): Depart for China.
Day 2 (Saturday, March 2): Travel day.
Day 3(Sunday, March 3): Arrival in Kunming City and overnight stay.
Day 4 (Monday March 4): Breakfast; depart for site accommodation.
Days 5-9, (Tuesday –Saturday, March 5 - 9): Breakfast at a local restaurant; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; team activities.
Day 10 (Sunday, March 10): Travel back to Kunming City; free time and cultural activities; final dinner and overnight stay.
Day 11 (Monday, March 11): departure day.

Note: Special events throughout the trip include cultural experiences with affiliate staff such as market tours, museum visits and historical sites.

Lodging will be provided in a local hotel with participants sharing double-occupancy rooms and shared bath. The team will spend its first and last nights at a hotel in the arrival city. All daily meals, including lunch, snacks and bottled water on-site, are included in the trip cost.

Program cost

(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader: David Patterson
David has served on the board of directors of the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Forsyth County, NC for seven years, including a year as president of the board in 2011. Over the years he has worked in all facets of the organization – executive committee, finance committee, family selection and support, Youth United, construction and the affiliate’s first capital campaign in 2012. After Habitat Global Village trips to El Salvador (2010) and Vietnam (2011), he was hooked on Global Village trips.

In the real world, David is president of Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance, LLC., a partnership between the schools of medicine of the University of North Carolina, Wake Forest University and East Carolina University.

David and his wife, Sonya, have two wonderful daughters, Margaret and Olivia, and live in Winston-Salem, NC.

If you would like more information, please contact David at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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