Individuals served in FY19: 370
- Through new construction –340
- Through rehab –15
- Through repairs –15
Volunteers hosted in FY19: 1,595
- Population: 69.4 million
- Life expectancy: 76.9 years
- Unemployment rate: 0.77%
- Population living below poverty line: 9.9%
Source: World Factbook, World Bank
Habitat for Humanity in Thailand
Habitat for Humanity began working in Thailand in the northeastern province of Udon Thani in 1998. Since July 2007, Habitat Thailand has been operating through its national office in Bangkok and zone offices located in Chiangmai (North), Rayong (Northeast), Pathumthnee (Central) and Phangnga (South).
The housing need in Thailand
Thailand is often cited for its success in pulling millions of people out of poverty, thanks to rapid economic growth over the past few decades. The economic boom was accompanied by increasing urbanization, from 29% of the population in 1990 to 44% in 2010, according to the World Bank. Due to insufficient planning to meet the affordable housing needs of low-income families, the number of slum and squatter settlements has increased with a majority of them in Bangkok Metropolitan Region. In 2003, Thailand introduced Baan Mankong (“secure housing”), a nationwide slum upgrading program that has reached about 96,000 households. The government is developing a 10-year housing development strategy to address the needs of 2.72 million households living in inadequate housing or informal settlements.
How Habitat addresses the need in Thailand
Habitat for Humanity Thailand was established in 1998 with the aim of improving the Thais’ quality of life through building homes and transforming communities. It works with like-minded partners to achieve a lasting, positive impact through holistic development and sustainable change. Habitat Thailand has partnered with 11,500 families or over 46,000 people to build, repair and rehabilitate their homes. Based on the needs of families and communities in Thailand, Habitat and its partners also implement community development programs that provide training in livelihood options and assistance in setting up home-based businesses. In addition, health centers, multipurpose community centers, school libraries, vegetable greenhouses, and water and sanitation facilities are also built. Corporate partners include Korean Reinsurance, Destination Asia, Thrivent, Bain & Company, Dow, HMC Polymer, Cargill, Ananda Development & Partners, Siam Commercial Bank, Seagate, Caterpillar, Nissan, Cigna, Bank of America, P&G, Credit Suisse, HMC Polymer, Hilton Pattaya, Benefit Cosmetics and HSBC. Local and International schools and universities also lend a hand.
Decent, affordable housing
Habitat for Humanity Thailand and its partners build, repair or rehabilitate homes with families living below the national poverty line as well as vulnerable groups. Construction costs are brought down through volunteer labor, gifts-in-kind from corporate donors and donation of soil for land reclamation from the local government, among others.
Following the devastating floods in 2011, Habitat Thailand distributed cleanup kits and emergency shelter kits to nearly 4,000 families in 11 provinces. In addition to over 1,400 families who rebuilt their homes, 32 schools were rehabilitated and four multipurpose buildings were built in Ayutthaya and Phitsanulok provinces. In 2017, Habitat Thailand distributed hygiene kits containing items for cleaning up houses to affected families in Trang province in the south. The longer term focus is on helping disaster-affected families to rebuild or rehabilitate their houses.
Community development programs
Throughout Thailand, Habitat has built and/or rehabilitated school dormitories, assembly
area domes, libraries, playgrounds and improved water and sanitation facilities in local schools and communities. Under its community development program, Habitat Thailand has helped schools to build greenhouses and start fish farms.
Thailand is one of the favorite destinations for Global Village volunteers from all over the world. In 2019, Habitat Thailand hosted teams from the USA, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Domestic volunteer efforts continue to be strong with support from local and international educational institutions and open one-day builds.