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5,000 Volunteers Make One-Day Habitat for Humanity’s Asian Youth Build A Success

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500 Low-Income Families Supported Across 5 Countries And More Than US$1 Million Raised

BANGKOK, 12th May 2012: Today, nearly 5,000 young Habitat for Humanity volunteers laid bricks, mixed cement and wielded hammers to help more than 500 families in China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand in just one day.

“I am happy that my friends joined me for Habitat Youth Build. It is great to see young people in Thailand concerned about the well-being of others. So many people came along today to help” said T-Thawat Taifayongvichit, 18, from Ramkhamhaeng Advent International School

Celebrities like Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, Indonesian singer Delon Thamrin, Filipino actor Matteo Guidicelli, and Thai pop singer and pianist Tor Saksit also took part today.

Today’s simultaneous multi-country build event marked the culmination of a five-month long Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD campaign to raise funds for, and awareness of, the dire housing situation in the Asia-Pacific region. Tens of thousands of young people used their social and digital networks to encourage people to donate and more than 2 million people were reached with the campaign’s message.

“The sheer quantity of volunteers and supporters that came together today, united with the cause of tackling substandard housing, is remarkable. It is not too late to be a part of Habitat Youth BUILD – we need to continue raising awareness of the housing need in Asia-Pacific and to raise funds to help more low-income families. Plans are already being made for a bigger and better youth initiative next year,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity International. “Having a decent home can transform lives, as it opens the doors to improved health, better performance in school, greater economic opportunities and increased community spirit.”

In the Philippines and Thailand, volunteers helped people affected by recent disasters. In Thailand, volunteers built a community center for families affected by the severe flooding last year, which will serve as an evacuation center during disasters. In the Philippines, more than 200 homes were built for families who lost their houses after Typhoon Nesat and Severe Tropical Storm Washi.

Other Habitat for Humanity ambassadors like Filipino boxer turned politician Manny Pacquiao, Hong Kong actress and singer-songwriter Karen Mok, Bollywood actress Aditi Rao Hydari, Hong Kong entrepreneur Christie Wo, Indian American actor Omi Vaidya, Filipino theater actress Cris Villonco all lent their support in the run-up to Habitat’s Youth BUILD to help raise awareness, encourage donations and recruit volunteers.

The United Nations estimates that more than 500 million people in the Asia-Pacific region live in slums, representing more than half of the world’s slum dwellers. Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

To donate, visit Use #habitatyouthbuild to raise awareness online and visit HabitatYouthBuild on Facebook to see photos from today.