Gearing up for the peak of Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD 2015

BANGKOK (March 5, 2015) Just over two weeks before the Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD 2015 campaign peaks on 21 March, youth participants across 15 countries and one Special Administrative Region in the Asia-Pacific region are pulling out all stops to show their support.

, the largest volunteer campaign in the Asia-Pacific region, is an annual movement to engage youth volunteers in online initiatives to raise funds and awareness as well as in physical builds. Last year’s campaign involved 11 Asia-Pacific countries with volunteers working on 950 houses at 57 build sites. Over 1,700 families were served, and US409,000 was raised.

“Youth are one of the best channels to create societal impact, to elevate people out of poverty housing,” said Leo Cabasag, Habitat’s volunteer programs coordinator for the Asia-Pacific region. “In addition, this is a fun setting where they can volunteer. They can interact with people while building a house, or participate in other activities. They are creating ripples to improve their society.”

Several celebrities will also be joining Habitat Youth BUILD supporters for building and advocacy activities. The Philippines will see the participation of actors and sports celebrities such as Daniel Matsunaga, Matteo Guidicelli, Christian Bautista, Chris Tui, and others. In Indonesia, Miss Indonesia Whulandary, singer vanessaTM, and actress Kelly will show their support. Fashion model Arisa Kamada and Miss Hibiscus, Leonora, will lend their support in Japan and Fiji respectively.

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka’s ambassador and actress Pooja Umashanker invited her Facebook fans, who numbered nearly 190,000 to join her in supporting the Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 campaign online by posting photos of themselves making a “Roof Sign” with the hashtags #HFHSLB2015 and .

The goals for this year are to mobilize 500,000 youth volunteers and supporters across the Asia-Pacific Region, raise US500,000 for the campaign, and serve 10,000 families. Since the launch of Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 last December, participating countries have been drumming up support through various activities in the run-up to the campaign’s peak on 21 March. Highlights of various activities across the region include:

Nepal: Working with local partners, Habitat for Humanity aims to mobilize 500,000 volunteers to build 5,000 houses over a week from 16 to 21 March for low-income families.

Philippines: Habitat for Humanity is expecting 100,000 youth volunteers from schools, churches, and corporations to raise funds, create awareness and build homes for 5,000 families. A fun run in Manila is also planned.

India: About 100,000 youth volunteers will take part in sanitation and school beautification projects in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Other activities include online fundraising, and a T-shirt design competition.

China: In Shiming village, Guangdong province, 150 youth volunteers from Hong Kong and China will work for two days to build homes for low-income families.

Japan: The goal is to mobilize 400 Global Village volunteers to help build homes for 50 families in the Asia-Pacific region. At a two-day workshop held in December, campus chapter members discussed ways of tackling the problem of inadequate housing.

Cambodia: About 200 volunteers are expected to build homes in the Andong community near Phnom Penh. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia is working with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on a fundraising campaign in schools. Students will help to raise funds and promote awareness of decent housing.

Fiji: In December, about 130 local volunteers helped to build two transitional shelters over three days at Sukuna Park, Suva. The shelters, which were on display before being taken apart, would be donated to two low-income families. Reconstruction of the shelters with international volunteers from New Zealand is taking place this month.

Indonesia: Habitat for Humanity is mobilizing youth volunteers to build houses, and to attend a small concert in Jakarta. A clean-up drive will be held in Yogyakarta, and a poverty housing awareness campaign will take place in Bandung.

Vietnam: In partnership with schools, 200 students will take part in a three-month campaign to build awareness and raise funds to build homes in Vietnam.

Sri Lanka: This year’s goal is to mobilize 500 volunteers to build homes for families who were affected by the war in the eastern region of the country.

Thailand: Apart from raising awareness and funds online, volunteers have been working to build 11 houses for low-income families in Udon Thani, Chiang Mai, Rayong, Phuket, Phathum Thani and Korat.

Singapore: Social media campaigning continues, and youth volunteers will be mobilized for its Project Home Works, a home clean-up and repair program. Global Village volunteers will also be sent to help build homes in one of the countries taking part in Habitat Youth BUILD.

New Zealand: The goal is to mobilize 500 volunteers to assist with home building. Global Village teams have also traveled to Fiji to support home construction.

Korea: A series of Cookie Build workshops kicked off in Seoul in January. Every Saturday leading up to the middle of March, Korean students will decorate cookies baked in the shape of a house to express their dream of a better home.

As part of the Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 campaign, an online contest was held last November to design the bandana that will be worn by volunteers at the home building sites. Khaled Mahmood Mustafa, 32, from Bangladesh garnered the most number of online votes for his design and won the prize of an iPhone 6.

“I wanted to make a call to youths to unite and act for the less privileged,” said Khaled. His design included the Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 tagline of ‘PLAY a part, ACT today, SHARE with friends’. “Human lives are bound within a cycle. And a shelter places a significant role in that cycle and that is why I used the spiral motif,” Khaled added. He created a paint splatter effect to represent excitement, enthusiasm and playfulness. The color green, associated with spring and growth, was chosen to represent youthfulness and hope.

Khaled is looking to be more involved in Habitat Youth BUILD 2015 after helping to mobilize volunteers and staff from Bangladesh’s JAAGO Foundation for the 2014 campaign. He also worked on a Habitat build in the United States in 2013.

Learn more or join the online Habitat Youth BUILD community .