500,000 people mobilized for Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD 2015

Record 150,000 volunteers building on one day in Nepal on 21 March

BANGKOK (March 20, 2015) – Marking the peak of the Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD 2015 campaign tomorrow will be a record number of Habitat volunteers mobilized on a single day. About 150,000 volunteers will be building decent homes in more than 100 locations in Nepal on 21 March. The three-month campaign will have helped a record 10,000 low-income families secure decent homes with the mobilization of 500,000 volunteers across the Asia-Pacific region.

Now in its fourth year, the largest volunteer-driven movement in the Asia-Pacific region draws support from young people in 15 countries and one Special Administrative Region. Habitat Youth BUILD heightens awareness of the poverty housing situation in the Asia-Pacific region and inspires people to take action to tackle the growing problem.

“Each year, Habitat Youth BUILD raises the bar by inspiring more supporters to get involved in raising awareness, funds and support for Habitat’s cause in exciting ways. This year is no exception. In Nepal alone, 150,000 people will work on multiple sites in one day to build decent homes and hope,” said Rick Hathaway, vice president for Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International. He added that the campaign will serve close to six times more families this year, compared to last year.

To find out more about Habitat Youth BUILD, join the or visit altenheime-hamburg.info.

For the first time, Habitat’s ‘Global Village’ international volunteer teams are supporting Habitat Youth BUILD. Over 770 volunteers from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have traveled to Asian and Pacific countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Fiji to build homes for those in need.

Celebrities are also vocal in their support. Indonesian singer-songwriter Vanessa Theodora Mbouw, known as vanessaTM, has composed and donated a song “Start the Fire” to encourage youth of the region to be the change they want to see. The music video featuring Habitat supporters can be viewed . vanessaTM is a youth ambassador for Habitat for Humanity Indonesia.

Other celebrities who endorse Habitat Youth BUILD are actress Pooja Umashanker, an ambassador of Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka; fashion model Arisa Kamada who appeals to a young fan base in Japan; Nepali youth advocate and broadcast journalist Santosh Shah; Nirnaya Shrestha, a Nepali rapper and more.

Several participating countries are organizing builds and other activities when the campaign peaks tomorrow (21 March 2015). Other countries will mark the peak later.

Sri Lanka: some 600 international and local volunteers will work alongside families to build houses in Muttur village, Trincomalee in the Eastern Province.

China: In Shiming village, Guangdong province, 140 youth volunteers from Hong Kong and China will work for two days to build homes for low-income families.

Philippines: An estimated 50,000 supporters from schools, churches, and corporations are expected to raise funds, create awareness and build homes for 5,000 families at 10 build sites. Prior activities included a build by former and current beauty contestants and a mural painting contest in Manila.

Indonesia: A fun walk for Habitat Youth BUILD supporters will be held on 22 March, a car-free day in the business district of Jakarta.

Cambodia: On 28 March, about 100 youth volunteers will be painting and doing landscaping work at a childcare center in Andong, a slum area in Phnom Penh.

India: More than 1,000 volunteers are building homes and sanitation facilities, and thousands more are participating in awareness and fundraising activities.

Culminating on 21 March 2015, advocacy, awareness and fund-raising activities will take place in 15 countries and one Special Administrative Region (SAR) across the Asia-Pacific region. These include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Youth from Latin America will be joining the movement for the first time.

In 2014, #HabitatYouthBUILD activities occurred in 11 Asia-Pacific countries with hundreds of thousands of volunteers working on 950 houses at 57 project sites. Over 1,700 families were served, and US409,000 was raised.