Cambodian youth supporters signing a petition in support of access to land for housing

Speak out for housing on World Habitat Day

MANILA (Oct. 1, 2018) — Global housing organization Habitat for Humanity marks World Habitat Day today (October 1) with a call for youth leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to submit project proposals for the 2019 Habitat Young Leaders Build advocacy grants. Winning proposals will receive grants of up to US$1,000 to kick-start the implementation of their advocacy and awareness rising projects that address youth and community issues about housing and secure land tenure.

“Young people are the leaders of today. We want to invest in their innovative and energetic ideas on how to push for better housing solutions. With the Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build campaign, we have seen millions of supporters affect change for families in need of safe, adequate shelter,” says Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity's Asia-Pacific vice president.

“On World Habitat Day, we want to encourage more young people to stand with us in promoting the foundational role that decent housing plays in overcoming barriers to a better, healthier, and more stable future," Hathaway adds.

Social media graphic for World Habitat Day 2018

Habitat also joins the United Nations and its partners around the globe in celebrating World Habitat Day 2018 by urging government, businesses, and other members of civil society to come together and rededicate their efforts to recognize the basic right to adequate shelter. Habitat calls on its volunteers, supporters, donors and partners to speak out on how a decent place to live can support families to build strength, stability and self-reliance that they need to build a better future.

Youth in the Asia-Pacific region play a key role in raising awareness and mobilizing individuals and communities to take action on the issues around housing. For the last seven years, Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build, a youth-focused regional campaign, has empowered young individuals and youth groups to take the lead and motivate their peers to build homes and communities. Since 2016, Habitat has provided seed funding to 42 youth-led advocacy projects that educate and change perception and garner public support for policies and systems that enable access to decent housing and secure land tenure.

For the 2019 call for proposals, Habitat is looking for similar advocacy projects that change the conversation on housing and on land tenure, in relation to slum upgrading, gender and property rights, disaster resilience, and security of tenure. To apply, download the guidelines and application form at bit.ly/HabitatYLB19 and send your project proposal to ap_info@habitat.org by December 5, 2018.

Previous recipients from Bangladesh, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal and Philippines have used their Habitat Young Leaders Build 2018 advocacy grants to fund projects that are close to their hearts. The group CEASEY, Creating Environment, Advocacy and Social Empowerment for Youths, looked into the issues of informal settlements in their community in Suva, the capital of Fiji and used social media to raise awareness on climate change and basic human rights in relation to their housing and social conditions.

Fijian youth advocacy group CEASEY

Fijian group CEASEY, a past advocacy grant recipient, tapped social media to raise awareness of climate change and the basic human right to housing. 

In Nepal, Rujita Adhikari and Prashamsa Lamichhane shared the need for property rights to be more inclusive, and added the call for women's voices to help end discrimination and bring change. In Japan, Habitat youth volunteers from Meiji Gakuin University visited earthquake-hit Fukushima to help villagers clear and cut bamboos in once deserted villages to make space for new homes while learning about disaster risk reduction and renewable energy.

The Habitat Young Leaders Build advocacy and awareness-raising grants initiative resonates with the freshly minted United Nations’ “Youth2030” strategy to partner with the world’s 1.8 billion young people to empower young leaders to put their own ideas into action.