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Guangdong Province, China

September 5, 2013 to September 18, 2013

Have you ever wanted to visit another country and have more than just a “tourist experience?” If so, you should join us as we work together alongside the Habitat partner families in the village of Yangwei, outside of Guangzhou, China and learn about their ethic and cultural heritage on a personal level.  Bring your sense of humor, positive attitude and willingness to help others less fortunate to this beautiful region of China and learn to build safe, sustainable homes using locally available materials.  At the same time, we will develop lifelong personal relationships with team members and Habitat families. Make a commitment to join us and help transform the lives of these families as you have a truly amazing experience. 

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.

Guangdong Province- Yangwei Community Profile
Yangwei is a small rural farming community in Conghua, about two hours by bus from Guangzhou City of Guangdong province, one of the most rapidly developing provinces in China. Guangdong is also an area that has the most visible polarization of the rich and poor. Most of the 39 families, about 200 villagers that make up this community work as tangerine farmers, their annual income comes from the sale of these tangerines during the harvest season (December-February) and fluctuates with the market. They can earn on average RMB 5,000 (USD790) per person per harvest, which must last them the whole year. Some families also plants rice, sweet potatoes and peanuts to help feed the families. 

The families in Yangwei were living in primitive and dangerous row houses made of mud walls and tiled roofs. The mud walls had eroded over the years and had large cracks that leaked when it rained. The wooden beams holding up the ceramic tile roof was teaming with termites. The house required constant repairs and upkeep, and the villagers often spent time away from their orchards to replace damaged tiles on the roof or plaster over cracks in the wall. The houses did not have proper sanitation or a ventilation system. Not only was the house uncomfortable and unhygienic, it was also vulnerable to the floods and typhoons that regularly affect this area. 

In later 2012, the villagers tore down those unsafe, mud brick houses, to take part in the local government’s program called “Eliminating Mud Houses for Low-income Rural Families”, which aims to transform mud houses into safe homes. Families who qualify for this program will receive a subsidy of RMB 45,000 or US $7,100 from the government to build a new house. However, the average cost of a brick house with a reinforced concrete roof in the Conghuais RMB 80,000 or US$12,700. To help the families of Yangwei reach their dream of safe, decent homes, Habitat for Humanity China is planning to provide the families with a no-profit loan that will give them the funding needed to complete the construction of their houses and help to transform their entire community. 

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 either be assisting in creating new housing for families in need or rebuilding housing damaged or destroyed by the 2008 earthquake.

Standard itinerary
(14-day itinerary)

Day 1: Thursday, Sept. 5 - Depart the US/Canada.
Day 2: Friday, Sept. 6 - Travel day international date line.
Day 3: Saturday, Sept. 7 -  Everyone arrives on Guangzhou City, spend the night.
Day 4: Sunday, Sept. 8 - Breakfast at a local restaurant; travel to Liangkou; welcome and orientation; dinner; time for team activities.
Days 5-9: Monday-Friday, Sept. 9-13 - Breakfast travel to worksite 9-4; lunch on-site; dinner and free time.
Days 10-11: Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 14-15 - Breakfast; free time; cultural events; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 12: Monday,  Sept. 16 - Breakfast, travel to work site 9-4; lunch on-site; dinner and free time.
Day 13: Tuesday, Sept. 17 - Work 8-3; closing event at site; Back to Guangzhou; spend night there.
Day 14: Wednesday, Sept. 18 - Morning in Guangzhou; free time, flight home or R&R.

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 Guangzhou 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.)

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge — join us in sharing our story and building a better world.

Team leader
Dan has lead Habitat For Humanity International Global Village teams for the past 14 years to Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, Nepal, Portugal, Poland, Fiji, Madagascar, Romania and Paraguay. 

He is an avid golfer, skier, snowmobile enthusiast and world traveler. Dan is a real estate agent and lived in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., for 23 years with his wife Carrol before moving to the desert in 2012. He is a Viet Nam era Air Force veteran and a graduate of Westmont College with a degree in psychology. After graduation, Dan spent time at an executive search firm in Century City, Calif., and was special affairs director for Focus on the Family.

Dan was heavily involved in Mammoth Lakes, having been elected to the town council serving as mayor pro tem for his last two years, president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Mammoth Lakes Rotary Club and president of the Mono County sheriff’s search and rescue team. He served as a member of the council of elders in a local church and was a member of the board of directors of Mammoth Hospital. 

Dan is looking for team members that have a sense of humor, are flexible, team players, enjoy an adventure and are willing to help the less fortunate. You can contact him either by email at or his cell number 760-709-2611 or home 760-262-9032. Also, check out his website at

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

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