United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake
Habitat Young Leaders Build celebrates 10 years and 17 million supporters
MANILA (April 23, 2021) – The United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy for Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, will deliver the opening remarks during the “Youth from Home for Homes” virtual conference, the peak of the 2021 Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build campaign. Over a hundred youth from the Asia-Pacific region have registered for the event, which also marks a decade of youth volunteerism for the cause of safe, affordable housing.
Joining the UN youth envoy for the conference on April 24 are young leaders who will present highlights from their community-based projects in support of Habitat’s work during the pandemic. These include raising funds to build core houses in Sri Lanka and advocating for affordable housing among local government officials in the Philippines.
“Many in our community lost their jobs and livelihoods but we want to support our community and keep it healthy during the pandemic,” said Kim Claire Darugo, a Filipino volunteer. A member of Pasig 1 Community Youth Group, which is active in a neighborhood that Habitat helped build, she and her fellow volunteers are raising funds for hygiene kits to be donated to families in vulnerable situations in the Philippines.
Almost seventy volunteers from ten countries have started to implement multi-month projects under the Young Leaders Build campaign. The volunteers comprise of university students, young professionals and youth with vocations.
Other volunteer-led projects include providing cash and in-kind assistance for families in need to repair or build safe, healthy homes and the construction of community facilities such as handwash stations, solar lighting and urban gardens. Volunteers also plan to train other youth and their families on ways to protect their household from the coronavirus, promote mental health, and facilitate learning from home.
Since 2012, more than 17 million Habitat Young Leaders Build supporters have raised almost US$9 million to help more than 33,000 families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. While the 2021 campaign peaks in April, the momentum will continue as youth groups and volunteers will continue their projects until 2022.