In the early morning hours of March 28, as large crowds of young people began streaming down the road toward Andong, it was clear that all of the campus presentations, meetings with student group leaders, fund-raising, logistical planning and online engagement, had paid off in a big way.
One of goals of Habitat Youth Build 2015 was to paint seven housingclusters, with 77 houses in Andong Village, which drew together 200 young people from student groups, schools and universities, and organizations to spend a day painting and cleaning house for 77 of 1,000 families in need of adequate housing.
The event kicked off with opening speeches and a review of safety rules. Next teams broke into their respective areas to begin their tasks. The Build A City project site became a hive activity; there were groups painting the interior and exterior of the housing units, doors and window, and there were groups building the entrance ramp. LAV Srunchhay, a teacher from Tayama School who led 30 young volunteers from his school at the event, said, “We came here today to help the poor. My group is the same as other youth who are willing to help and I believe Habitat Youth Build gives us the opportunity to help the community and vulnerable families.” He continued, “like other participants, my group looks forward to joining again next year. This is already the third time for us in Habitat Youth Build.”
This year Habitat for Humanity Cambodia worked with People for Care and Learning through the Build A City project, which focuses on serving families in Andong Village where thousands of people were relocated in 2006 from their home territory beside a river in Phnom Penh to make room for land developers.
By using their social networks to raise awareness and by physically building homes, young people are taking action to make a difference to the lives of low-income families. Each year Habitat Youth Build gathers increasing momentum across Asia Pacific.
At the end of the day, our volunteer crews were hot, sweaty and tired, but still smiling. Seven clusters with 77 homes out of hundreds were well painted and cleaned. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia hopes that all the Habitat Youth Build supporters and volunteers will continue providing their support for the rest of the year, that they return in 2016 and bring along more friends too.