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Act! Speak! Build! Guide for first time participants

The who, what, when, where and how of Act! Speak! Build! Week.


Youth ages 5 to 25, local Habitat affiliates and volunteers around the world.


Habitat’s international, student-initiated advocacy campaign. Act! Speak! Build! Week empowers young people to educate themselves and their communities and move people to social action.


During the week that works best for your group! Groups are encouraged to consider organizing their Act! Speak! Build! Week events around World Habitat Day.


School campuses and communities around the world.


  1. Familiarize yourself and your group with Act! Speak! Build! Week, our advocacy ideas and Act! Speak! Build! Week resources.
  2. Register your event with Habitat for Humanity International to receive updated materials and information to assist in your advocacy activities. Act! Speak! Build Week will be held April 6-12, 2014.
  3. Contact your local Habitat affiliate and let them know you would like to collaborate on events.
  4. Plan your week and events leading up to Act! Speak! Build! Week.

Key points

  • Publicize your event in advance. Use Habitat for Humanity’s online resources to assist you on advocacy events prior to Act! Speak! Build! Week. Inform the faculty and staff on campus about the event so they can support you.
  • Remember that your advocacy campaign is based on advocating for affordable housing.
  • Co-sponsor events with other organizations at your school and delegate responsibilities.
  • Reserve space on campus early.
  • Download the Youth Advocacy Toolkit and other advocacy resources for more information.

Sample week

  • One week before: Advertise Act! Speak! Build! Week on your campus with posters provided by Habitat for Humanity International. You can request posters when you register for Act! Speak! Build! Week.
  • Monday: Create a buzz! Cover your campus or community with statistics about the state of poverty in your community and throughout the world. You can tie ribbons on trees, pass out flyers and hand out stickers that Habitat for Humanity International provides. Have members of your group wear Act! Speak! Build! Week T-shirts around campus.
  • Tuesday: Organize a panel discussion with members of your community. Use the successful panel guide for help.
  • Wednesday: Host a shantytown on your campus. Have student groups each commit to building one or more boxed houses. That night, have a sleep out among your community. Contact us that access the guide to organizing a shantytown event.
  • Thursday: Sponsor a letter-writing campaign advocating for more affordable housing in your community.
  • Friday: Collaborate with your affiliate to host a mini-build on your campus. You can build mailboxes, sheds, doors and benches. Invite local officers or politicians to visit the build site.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Relax! You and your group did a great job inspiring your community.
  • One week after: Send out thank you notes to everyone who participated and helped you along the way.
  • One month after: Complete the Act! Speak! Build! Week survey on the Youth Programs website to help us improve the event and provide valuable resources to groups that will participate in next year’s Act! Speak! Build! Week.


Register with Habitat for Humanity to make your week official and tell us about your events.
Register now