Government Housing Bank’s Staff And Other Volunteers Build With Habitat In Central Thailand

September 19th, 2011

Build Takes Place After Close Of 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum Of Which GHB Was A Sponsor

(Top) The volunteers included staff from Government Housing Bank, a journalist and a hotel executive. They helped to move cement blocks and build walls. Photos: Mikel Flamm.

BANGKOK, 19th September 2011: The Government Housing Bank once again showed its support for a Habitat for Humanity build in central Thailand.

The bank was one of the sponsors for the recently concluded 3rd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum held in Bangkok which was co-organized by Habitat for Humanity International and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Before the three-day forum began on 7th September, Government Housing Bank supported a special Habitat Women Build at the same site in Pathum Thani province. More than 50 women volunteers traveled to Pathum Thani, about 46 km. from Bangkok, to build for one day.

Other supporters of the Women Build included Thailand’s National Council of Women of Thailand, Taekwondo Association of Thailand and Government Housing Seniors’ Club.

The recent build was held a day after the close of the forum. About 10 staff from the bank’s communications and human resources departments helped to move cement blocks, mix mortar and build walls. They also dedicated another Habitat house which was completed earlier.

In addition to the bank’s employees, other volunteers who lent a hand included a journalist, a hotel executive and an event organizer. Among them was Veronica Pedrosa, a Bangkok-based presenter with Al Jazeera English, an international news network headquartered in Doha, Qatar.

For Pathai “Pat” Savetachinda, it was the bank’s training officer’s fifth build with Habitat. While he joined the build because of the bank’s corporate social responsibility program, he said he would still volunteer on his own.

The graduate of St John’s University is familiar with Habitat because of Dr Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, chairman of the board, HFH Thailand, who is also vice-chancellor of the Bangkok university.

“I feel happy after every build. I feel that I am valuable. Life is short. We should do something valuable, for myself, for society,” said Pat.

“I understand better how construction workers work and feel. I used to order them around,” he added. “Working with Habitat is a good challenge for me. I see new things ad meet new people. When we do something good, something good will happen to us as well.”

Pat’s enthusiasm had its effect on Habitat home partner Titima Tappawong. The 27-year-old factory worker was very happy that volunteers devoted their time and labor to help build a new house for her family.

Titima’s mother was wheelchair-bound after suffering a stroke two years ago. Together with her husband and her mother, Titima lives with her aunt in a house shared by nine people.

“After my mother got sick, we do not have enough savings to build our own house. Now, we can look forward to moving into our new home in less than a month,” said Titima.