Global Village Volunteers Called Upon to Continue Work in Tsunami-Hit Countries

January 7, 2005

BANGKOK: 7th January 2005: Habitat for Humanity has announced that scheduled Global Village visits to Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Thailand will continue in the coming months, following the devastating tsunamis which hit these countries. However, it could be at least two months before international volunteers are sent to aid Habitat projects in tsunami-hit areas - with the exception of qualified volunteers with disaster-response skills.

Houses flattened: a destroyed street in coastal Tamil Nadu

Although coastal strips were devastated by the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami, there are Habitat affiliates and communities inland that were not affected. The need of families in these communities living here for decent homes is unchanged, along with the need for international volunteers to come and build.

Habitat’s Asia-Pacific director of volunteer programs Mui Ngah Lee put out an appeal for international volunteers today. “Please continue to fill available team slots for Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia. Building work will all be in unaffected areas. The need is still there, and we still have much to do,” she said. She also urged against abandoning the aid work underway. “I would also urge teams not to divert to disaster-afflicted areas from other countries or other communities in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Thailand,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity plans to provide transitional “core” and “kit” housing for those made homeless in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and Thailand. Implementation plans are now being drawn up. Mui Ngah Lee continued, “We call on volunteers, especially those with special skills, to help rebuild homes and communities in these affected countries.”

Donations continue for the work of Habitat for Humanity International. .All funds are going to the Tsunami Disaster Response Fund and will be used in all the afflicted countries as needed.

Anyone wishing to donate to a specific country can send to that country’s general fund where it will available for all activity including non-disaster activity. The codes are Sri Lanka - I9524, India - I950, Indonesia - I9508 and Thailand - I9570.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity as part of a Global Village team.

You can help the efforts of the Habitat for Humanity Disaster Response Office by a donation to the Asia Tsunami Response Fund.