November 1, 2004
NEW DELHI, November 1st, 2004 – Senior school and university students from Bangladesh brought new homes – and new hope – to five families in need in the eastern Indian state of Orissa during a four-day “Across The Border” international volunteer build.
Crossing borders: students from Bangladesh and India bring new hope to five families of farmers from Nimura in the eastern Indian state of Orissa
Fourteen students from Bangladesh Youth First Concern, Student Christian Movement of Bangladesh and Hunger Free World joined 25 Indian students from the New Stewart School campus chapter, Cuttack, in the first such west-bound trip. Last year’s “Across The Border Build” saw Indian students traveling to Bangladesh to build homes.
The Orissa build took place in Nimura, a farming village by the Bay of Bengal. The volunteers laid and completed concrete floors in all five houses under the auspices of HFH Cuttack, the local Habitat affiliate volunteer group.
“Across the Border Build” is part of Habitat for Humanity’s campus chapter and youth program It is designed to allow young people to discover how they can make an impact and change the world.
This year’s theme “Youth Assets- Making a Difference” attracted “a tremendous response from young people and we quickly signed up all the places,” said Jayanta Chowdhury, Program Advisor for Habitat’s Asia-Pacific campus chapter and youth program.
“Students and young people not only build homes, they meet and share in the lives of the home owners they are building for. The youngsters from two countries also share a common ecumenical and get to bring all these experiences home.”
“Across the Border Build” allow young people to travel to what seems an exotic destination, the country next to them.
Said Prince Sanjay, Youth Co-ordinator for Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh, last year’s event made a great difference by to several families in Bangladesh and “we are delighted to be able to reciprocate this time.”
There are 28 Habitat for Humanity campus chapters and four youth groups operating in the Asia-Pacific region.