Apr 29, 2013 19:30 JST

Source: Habitat for Humanity International

14,000 Young People in Seven Countries Gather for Habitat for Humanity's Largest Youth Volunteer Build Event in Asia
- Over 400 houses built and more than 600 families supported
- Close to 100,000 people took part in awareness-raising activities and on-site build events
- Celebrities across the region lent their support, including Bollywood actor John Abraham

BANGKOK, Apr 29, 2013 - (ACN Newswire) - Nearly 14,000 young volunteers built homes in seven Asian countries today, signaling their commitment to tackling the poverty housing situation in the region where one in eight lives in slums, according to the United Nations. The event set a record for non-profit housing organization Habitat for Humanity as its largest ever youth volunteer build event in Asia.

Celebrity supporters across the region joined volunteers to build, or went online to lend their support, with Bollywood star John Abraham (@The_JohnAbraham) leading the way on Twitter.

Volunteers in China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal and the Philippines all took part in today's event. Thousands more supported the campaign online through their social networks, raising awareness and saying 'no' to poverty housing.

Rick Hathaway, Habitat for Humanity vice president for Asia-Pacific, said: "More than 600 low-income families in the region took a big step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty today. The energy and commitment displayed by our Habitat Youth BUILD volunteers is just inspiring and I know, with their support, we can make the Habitat vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live a reality."

As well as building more than 400 homes today, Habitat Youth BUILD volunteers have spent the last two months raising awareness and funds. Habitat for Humanity Nepal mobilized nearly 80,000 volunteers across the country to take part in various activities including song and art competitions, and a mass-participation hand-holding event on 26 and 27 April. Local radio and TV stations supported the movement by broadcasting information about the housing need in Nepal.

In Japan, volunteers announced they had raised around 530,000 Japanese Yen (approx. US$5,374) through their Habitat Youth BUILD fundraising activities, for Habitat's 'Rebuilding Japan' program - supporting families affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011. Acknowledging the support of young volunteers that had travelled to Miyagi Prefecture, Kozukahara community leader, 64-year-old Naoshi Endo, said: "We need this youth power for recovery."

"Habitat for Humanity's Youth BUILD does not end today - this is just a major stepping stone in tackling the poverty housing situation that exists across Asia-Pacific. Thousands of young people pledged their support today, and the campaign will just continue to grow. Next year's Habitat Youth BUILD will involve yet more people and support many more families in need", Hathaway added.

For more information on Habitat Youth BUILD: www.facebook.com/HabitatYouthBuildHYB

About Habitat Youth BUILD 2013

Habitat for Humanity Youth BUILD 2013 is a movement to raise awareness of the poverty housing situation in the Asia-Pacific region and grow support for the vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. It calls for concerned young people to take action together to build homes and communities, on a Habitat build site and online through their social networks.

Contact:
Heron Holloway
Media Relations and Disaster Communications Manager, Asia-Pacific
Habitat for Humanity International - Asia-Pacific Satellite Office
Tel: +65 6744 2768 - Mobile: +65 9068 1892 - Skype: heron.holloway
hholloway@habitat.org - habitat.org/asiapacific
Source: Habitat for Humanity International
Sectors: CSR

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