Jet Li’s One Foundation And HFH China Launch New Hope Build In Earthquake-Affected Sichuan

More Than 130 Volunteers Contribute To Long-Term Project To Help 120 Families In Need

SICHUAN, 19th November 2010: Habitat for Humanity China and Jet Li’s One Foundation launched the New Hope Build recently in earthquake-affected Sichuan province.

More than 130 volunteers worked together with affected families to rebuild homes in Zhuyuan town, Qingchuan county in the northeast of Sichuan.

Over 130 volunteers from within China and from Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. helped to rebuild homes during the New Hope Build in China’s Sichuan province.

China’s 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 20 km. women’s walk, Wang Liping, was also among the volunteers.

The New Hope Build marked the launch of a long-term project to rebuild homes for 120 families, or more than 330 people, whose homes were destroyed in the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan.

In addition to One Foundation, Habitat’s other partners included the county and township governments which financed the cost of site development as well as public facilities.

One Foundation’s cooperative partner, Lenovo China’s ThinkPad team helped to recruit volunteers from within China via an online contest.

HFH China’s Shanghai and Hong Kong offices recruited other volunteers based in those cities as well as the United States.

“One year ago Jet Li was on a Habitat build site in Thailand and he so enjoyed the experience that the One Foundation and Habitat for Humanity agreed to work together especially in China,” said Peter Witton, chairperson of HFH China’s board of directors.

“This week is the first fruit of that agreement and we are very much looking forward to our next collaboration in the two-year term of partnership.”

Jet Li, who could not be available for the build which was rescheduled from an earlier date in September, sent a special video message. He said: “I want to express my great appreciation to all the young students and volunteers who participated, in showing our willingness to use our own hands in helping those in need, and showing our love.”

“With the ‘New Hope Build’ project, volunteers are not only building homes and hope for individual families in need,” said Lynn Tang, One Foundation China’s director of partnership and development. “They also have the chance to discover how helping those less fortunate than themselves brings great personal satisfaction.”

Most of the 80 local volunteers are university students from 17 cities in China including the capital Beijing and Shanghai. More than 30 volunteers are corporate executives from China International Intelletech Corporation (CIIC) Shanghai and China Merchant Bank. The remaining volunteers came from Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.

Zhuyuan was heavily affected by the 12th May 2008 earthquake. More than 90 percent of the township’s 5,140 families, or about 17,000 people, saw their homes destroyed or damaged.

While most reconstruction is now completed, some 120 families remain in need of permanent homes. These families are now renting flats with the subsidies they have received from the government or staying with family and friends in cramped conditions.

Habitat for Humanity and its government partners aim to complete construction of the 120 houses in May 2011.

Habitat for Humanity China has helped rebuild or repair about 1,000 houses in seven communities in Sichuan which were hit by the earthquake.