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Habitat for Humanity launches Young Leaders Build 2019 to empower youth to build resilience through housing

News and Press Release
Originally published

MANILA, December 5, 2018 – Global housing nonprofit marks International Volunteer Day today with the launch of the 2019 Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build, the largest youth movement dedicated to housing in Asia-Pacific. Joining the millions of supporters from previous campaigns, thousands of supporters, including youth groups from all over the region, are called to champion the cause of decent, affordable housing. In solidarity with IVD 2018’s theme, Habitat supporters will speak out about housing’s role in building sustainable, resilient communities

Rick Hathaway, Habitat Asia-Pacific Vice President said, “The youth in Asia-Pacific and their friends, play a big role in building resilient, sustainable homes and communities in the region. In the last seven years, Habitat Young Leaders Build has mobilized 3.2 million volunteers who worked alongside families and local community members to build houses and speak out for shelter and sanitation needs in the region. Having a decent home serves as the strong, stable foundation for families living in vulnerable and disaster-prone areas, helping them achieve better lives and more opportunities.”

Joining other Habitat volunteers for the campaign launch are Hong Kong actors Michael Tong and Venus Wong, actress and Miss Universe Thailand 2015 Aniporn Chalermburanawong, and Vietnamese pop star Phuong Vy.

Now on its eighth year, the regional campaign also continues to advance innovative ways to engage youth. In October, it launched a call for youth-led advocacy proposals. Successful entries will receive up to US$1,000 to kickstart their advocacy project. It also continues to empower young people in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Nepal through the #HabitatYLB Leadership Academy. Developed in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, the 10-module training includes two modules on sustainable communities as an introduction to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Participants will also learn about the need for decent housing, and develop specific action plans and projects that support their community.

As part of the Young Leaders Build 2019 campaign, special builds will bring together international volunteers and their local counterparts at the Asia Build in Myanmar and the Pacific Build in Fiji in February 2019. Other volunteer opportunities will be available in Asia-Pacific territories where Habitat has offices.

The annual Habitat Young Leaders Build will culminate in April 2019, with young people taking part in simultaneous activities across the region.

These include house construction, school cleaning, hygiene and sanitation education, fundraising events, and advocating for decent housing on social media.

Since 2012, over 12.5 million Habitat Young Leaders Build supporters have raised US$7.5 million in funds to help build houses and supported more than 29,000 families to achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. The 2018 campaign saw a record 4.3 million supporters from 17 countries and one Special Administrative Region in the Asia-Pacific region. Watch a 1.5 minute 2018/19 HYLB video here