Hong Kong Star Joins Children to Paint Gloves to Support Habitat for Humanity Volunteers In Rebuilding After the Sichuan Earthquake

500 Volunteers Sought for Building in China

HONG KONG, 15th May 2009: Movie star, singer and Habitat for Humanity China celebrity volunteer Karen Mok has pledged her support once again for Habitat’s work in rebuilding homes in earthquake-affected communities of Sichuan province and encouraged more people from Hong Kong and around the world to join in and volunteer.

HFH China’s celebrity volunteer Karen Mok (top) with gloves painted by children and parents at a Habitat event in Hong Kong. The gloves will be sent to Sichuan for use by Habitat volunteers in rebuilding efforts.

At a photo exhibition organized by HFH China at Ocean Terminal Main Concourse in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mok joined children and parents in a special glove painting event called “Hand in Hand to Sichuan”.

This fundraising activity aimed to explain to Hong Kong children that there were less fortunate children in Sichuan who did not have a decent place to live. Two hundred pairs of workmen’s gloves, each painted by a child or parent, will be sent to Sichuan and used by Habitat volunteers as they rebuild homes for families who lost their homes during the devastating May 2008 earthquake.

HFH China’s post-disaster community reconstruction project aims to rebuild at least 728 permanent, earthquake-resilient houses as well as nursery schools, health clinics, activity centers/libraries and outdoor exercise areas. In February, Mok along with celebrities including Daniel Wu and Jun Kung, spent several days working on a Habitat site in Taizi village 65 km. north of the provincial capital Chengdu. This gave them an insight into how volunteers can assist in building safe, decent homes for families in need.

HFH China is seeking to recruit 500 volunteers from around the world, whether individuals or from business corporations, to help build Habitat homes in Sichuan. This month, one team from Guangzhou will travel to Sichuan to build while another team in Chengdu will also contribute their voluntary efforts. These are the first of eight volunteer build teams scheduled in the coming months. But there will still be a need for more teams.

In November, former US president Jimmy Carter will visit Sichuan during Habitat for Humanity’s annual signature volunteer event, the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The week-long building project will construct an estimated 300 homes in countries bordering the Mekong River. There will be build sites in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Vientiane, Laos, and outside Hanoi in Vietnam. In addition, the project will highlight Habitat’s post-disaster work in Sichuan, China. The tremendous project will mark the beginning of a five-year Habitat for Humanity initiative to work with 50,000 families across the five countries.

Mok expressed interest in joining the build in Sichuan with Jimmy Carter, along with volunteers from around the world. This would be her second volunteer build and she said she would be happy to cooperate with the local families again in laying bricks, sifting sand and passing bricks.

HFH China was established in 2000 and merged its operations in Hong Kong and China into a single entity in 2006. The move aimed to leverage on the resources and business acumen of Asia’s premier international city to promote Habitat’s mission of providing decent housing for those in need in the world’s largest developing economy. Habitat for Humanity China currently works in Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in China, as well as in Hong Kong.