Singapore -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
THE CITY STATE OF SINGAPORE IS AT once an entrepôt, a cosmopolitan metropolis, a high-tech hub and an international financial centre. In two generations, rapid government-led industrialization and open policies inviting foreign investments stimulated rapid economic growth.
In Singapore, the elimination of poverty has, in part, been driven by official concern to create decent housing. Before the Singapore government established the Housing & Development Board (HDB) as the country’s public housing authority in 1960, only nine per cent of the population enjoyed low-cost public housing. Today, 86 per cent of Singapore’s population lives in very high quality HDB flats.
Registered in March 2002, Habitat for Humanity Singapore is involved in fund-raising, advocacy and organizing volunteers, along with local home improvement and safety projects. In 2006, HFH Singapore started Operation Homeworks, a home improvement and safety project that has benefited more than 150 elderly and disabled people to date with the help of nearly 1,200 volunteers.
Singapore was the first Habitat country to send disaster response teams to Sri Lanka and Aceh after the December 2004 tsunami. HFH Singapore has also formed close links with HFH Indonesia’s Batam affiliate. Batam island is only a short ferry ride from Singapore, making it an ideal location for short volunteer builds.
• In June 2007, HFH Singapore celebrated the 1,500th family housed in tsunami-affected Meulaboh on the west coast of Indonesia. The 1,500-house tsunami reconstruction project was made possible with a US$9 million grant from Singapore Red Cross’ Tidal Waves Asia Fund.
• As part of its advocacy and fundraising project, HFH Singapore mobilized more than 700 local student volunteers to build the world’s largest paper brick house in June 2007. The volunteers broke a world record by using more than 45,500 Tetrapak drink cartons for the house.
• Since 2002, Singapore has sent more than 3,300 volunteers to Habitat builds in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Romania, Sri Lanka and Thailand, including the tsunami-affected areas.
• More than 300 houses have been built in the nearby island of Batam.
• Since 2003, more than 2,000 young people have taken part in the ‘Under No Roof’ event to raise awareness of poverty housing and homelessness.
Population: 4.6 million (July 2007 est.)
Area: 692.7 sq. km.
Ethnic groups: Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, others 1.4% (2000 census)
Languages: Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, others 0.9% (2000 census)
Religions: Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, Christian 9.8%, others 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
Updated November 2007