Habitat for Humanity welcomes first local volunteers to APAC to build homes
In various locations around the Asia-Pacific region, Habitat for Humanity welcomed 136 foreign volunteers who worked alongside local families and community members to build their own high-quality, affordable homes. They are the first volunteers from the AP region that the housing non-profit has accepted since the COVID-19 outbreak forced it to suspend hosting volunteers through its Global Village programme at the beginning of 2020.
“We are grateful for the volunteers’ faithfulness and energy as they support Habitat’s mission of building strength and stability through shelter,” said Luis Noda, Vice-President for Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity Intern.
In order to complete one of its project sites in Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, and Vietnam, Habitat will host regional volunteers from Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea from March to June. To guarantee a secure, fulfilling experience for volunteers as well as local families and communities, Habitat’s national programmes in those areas undergo a certification procedure.
One of them who collaborated with Habitat volunteers in Phnom Penh was Than, 65. She was a widow who shared a modest house with three of her seven kids. The family lived in a wooden-planked home with a tin-and-plastic-sheet-covered roof that was unbearably hot during the day. Rainwater seeped into the house during the wet season. Than, whose son perished from electrocution many years prior, stated that she was more concerned about being electrocuted when everything in the house was wet.
Than is convinced that with the assistance of a group of Japanese volunteers, her home is now considerably safer for her family. “I believe my family will enjoy living in the new house. Since it was constructed above ground, I can stop worrying about flooding “She spoke. Akira, a volunteer from Sapporo, Japan, served with Habitat for the first time in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2019. He returned to Cambodia as a senior university student wanting to assist. He stated: “I came to the realisation that helping others might be beneficial. I might not be a powerful or well-known figure who can save the world, but I can help people one at a time. My motivation and my passion are in this.”
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