500 Families Supported In 5 Countries By Habitat For Humanity Youth BUILD Volunteers Committed To Tackling Poverty Housing
Peter Edrote and his family are looking forward to moving out of a tent and into their new home built by Habitat Youth BUILD volunteers in the Philippines.
BANGKOK, 11th May 2012: Tomorrow, martial arts movie star Jet Li joins around 4,000 young Habitat for Humanity volunteers laying bricks, mixing cement and wielding hammers to help more than 500 families in China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand in just one day.
“I believe everyone should have a place to call home,” said Jet Li, who will take part at a build site in Guangdong, China, one of the fifteen Habitat Youth BUILD sites.
In two countries, volunteers will be helping people affected by recent disasters. In Thailand, volunteers will build a community center for families affected by the severe flooding last year, which will serve as an evacuation center during disasters. In the Philippines, 200 homes will be built for families who lost their houses after Typhoon Nesat and Severe Tropical Storm Washi.
“We are very excited to know we will have a new house soon,” said Filipino Peter Edrote, 31, married to Nelinda, 36, and father to two young girls. “We have lived in a tent for over four months now and it feels good to know that we will soon have a house.”
The simultaneous multi-country build event marks the culmination of the five-month long Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD campaign to raise funds for, and awareness of, the dire housing situation in the Asia-Pacific region. Tens of thousands of young people have used their social and digital networks to encourage people to donate and more than 1 million people have been reached with the campaign’s message.
Habitat for Humanity ambassadors like Filipino boxer turned politician Manny Pacquiao, Hong Kong actress and singer-songwriter Karen Mok, Bollywood actress Aditi Rao Hydari, Indonesian singer Delon Thamrin, Filipino actor Matteo Guidicelli, Hong Kong entrepreneur Christie Wo, Indian American actor Omi Vaidya, Filipino theater actress Cris Villonco, and Thai pop singer and pianist Tor Saksit have all lent their support to Habitat’s Youth BUILD.
“We are overwhelmed by the great online response to the Habitat Youth BUILD campaign. Asia’s youth have really taken the cause of tackling substandard housing to heart and run with it,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity International. “Having a decent home can transform lives, as it opens the doors to improved health, better performance in school, greater economic opportunities and increased community spirit.”
The United Nations estimates that more than 500 million people in the Asia-Pacific region live in slums, representing more than half of the world’s slum dwellers. Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
To donate, view the ambassador video, or just for more information, visit habitatyouthbuild.org . Use #habitatyouthbuild to raise awareness online.