The world commemorates selfless acts around the globe during International Volunteer Day.
To celebrate Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, launched the 2019 Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build, the largest youth movement dedicated to housing in Asia-Pacific. Joining millions of supporters from previous campaigns, youth groups from all over the region are expected to join the Build as champions of decent, affordable housing for everyone.
The launch event kicked off with a discussion about housing’s role in building sustainable, resilient communities at the American International University Bangladesh (AIUB) in Khilkhet, Dhaka. Fifty participants attended, including representatives from various schools and universities, volunteers, journalists and employees of MetLife and Habitat Bangladesh. The Vice President for Academics of AIUB, Dr. Charles C. Villanueva also graced the event. The event comprised a brief introduction followed by a presentation about the Habitat Young Leaders Build (HYLB) campaign, and short speeches by special guests present from AIUB, MetLife Bangladesh and Habitat for Humanity Bangladesh about how volunteering can change lives at a global scale. Previous volunteers and a beneficiary home-owner family were present to share their experiences with participants.
MetLife Foundation has a tradition of supporting initiatives that engage MetLife volunteers in activities that improve quality of life and increase opportunities for the underserved. Through the Foundation’s global partnership with Habitat, it is helping low-income families secure safe and affordable housing. In 2017, MetLife volunteers in 14 countries donated more than 9,000 hours to Habitat, and MetLife Foundation contributed nearly $700,000 in financial support.
Recently, MetLife Foundation provided funding for construction of four houses for low-income people in Bangladesh. MetLife employees will volunteer at a day-long build, and the funding will enable 40 youth volunteers to get involved.
Habitat for Humanity has always been a pioneering volunteer network and hopes to engage more youth in their efforts to eradicate housing poverty. Habitat calls on its volunteers, supporters, donors, and partners to support families in building strength, stability and self-reliance for a better future.
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 achieve 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.