Drive to tackle poverty housing launched

Kathmandu, December 5

Habitat for Humanity Young Leaders Build in Nepal was launched in the capital yesterday. The annual Young Leaders Build is Habitat’s largest youth movement in the Asia-Pacific region.

This youth-driven campaign taking place for the fifth consecutive year focuses on tackling the challenges of poverty housing. The regional movement expects to rally more than one million youth, celebrities and corporate participants to volunteer, fund-raise and speak out for the need for decent homes as a way out of poverty.

“Many youth worldwide have developed a culture of service. It is deeply ingrained in who they are,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “At Habitat, we see young people as our future leaders.Through their volunteer work and power to influence, young people build homes and shed light on the important need for adequate housing. Together, we help families gain strength, stability and independence through shelter.”

Habitat for Humanity Nepal aims to involve some 300,000 young people in the campaign through various activities. They include helping families through direct and indirect intervention through house construction/repair/rehabilitation, cleaning up local neighborhoods, helping Habitat’s partner organisations to train local communities in disaster risk reduction, and water, sanitation and hygiene, seeking support for corporate funding and partnerships, and raising awareness of the need for decent housing through social media and getting others to join the movement.

A press statement issued by Habitat for Humanity Nepal, there is an urgent need for shelter that is safe and affordable across the Asia-Pacific region, including Nepal, which has been affected by two major earthquakes this year. The United Nations estimates that more than 500 million people in the Asia-Pacific live in slums, representing more than half of the world’s slum dwellers, and that globally 1.6 billion people live without adequate shelter. It is estimated that more than 4 million housing units are required in Nepal. Habitat Young Leaders Build engages youth to show solidarity with Habitat’s cause ─ to draw attention to, and tackle, the issue of substandard housing.

The Young Leaders Build campaign will reach its peak on 2 April 2016, when hundreds of thousands of young people will take part in simultaneous house builds across Asia-Pacific, or will go online in support of the campaign. Awareness and fundraising activities will take place in 15 countries and one Special Administrative Region, including Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.