The Filipinos' bayanihan spirit continues to live on in Bohol! Last May 3, 2014, several thousands of youth gathered for this year's Habitat for Humanity "Youth Build" that happened simultaneously in four key provinces/cities in the country including Bohol, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Naga. I was fortunate to be part of Habitat for Humanity's Rebuild Bohol project with the theme "Tagbo. Tukod. Tana! (Let’s gather. Let’s build. Let’s do it!)", where some 5,000 youth gathered for the Youth Build 2014.
The youth builders made a pledge of commitment to help rebuild Bohol by volunteering for Habitat's house-rebuilding efforts in 17 municipalities across the province that were affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Bohol in October 2013.
The Youth Build targets to rebuild over 8,083 homes which will run for the next several months and is expected to be finished by October 15, 2014. Charlie Ayco, Habitat for Humanity Philippines' CEO and Managing Director shares "Helping those in need is everyone’s responsibility. This time, we want to gather our youth and tap into their passion and energy to help get the job done while at the same time serving as role models to the younger generation".
The symbolic build happened in the municipality of Loon where six initial houses were built. Joining the event is Habitat for Humanity Ambassador Chris Tiu together with his wife and siblings. Also joining the build is a proud Boholano actor-director Cesar Montano with his celebrity friends Alvin Anson and Dolly Ann Carvajal.
Also present were Brian Llamanzares (son of Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares), Simon Tantoco (Habitat Youth Council president) and another proud Boholana, Anna Maris Igpit (Bb. Pilipinas World 2006).
The bamboo-cement technology house was used for the houses to be built in Bohol. This technology promises sturdy, earthquake- and storm-proof houses ideal for the areas hit by the earthquake in Bohol. The houses were about 20 square meters made with galvanized steel frame and GI sheet roof for quick assembly. Its walls are made of weaved bamboo and then plastered with cemented for added strength.
Even with the scorching heat of the sun, youth volunteers gathered and build houses. Major sponsor Coca-Cola Philippines helped add festivity to the activities and ensured that volunteers were hydrated with their kiosks and hydration stations.
In the evening, the youth convergence took place at the Holy Name University open field with fun games, inspirational messages from youth leaders, and performances from bands and local talents.
Habitat for Humanity Philippines is a global non-profit organization committed to addressing the housing backlog in the country. The Habitat Youth Build is a movement that engages young people to raise funds for, and awareness of the poverty housing situation in the Asia-Pacific region where one in eight people live in slums, according to the United Nations.
It was indeed a wonderful and fulfilling experience! THANK YOU Habitat for Humanity Philippines for inviting me to be part of this momentous event.
YOU TOO CAN BE A VOLUNTEER!Visit Habitat for Humanity Philippines' website at www.habitat.org.ph or like www.facebook.com/habitatphilippines for updates on the schedule of their upcoming build projects. Together, let's help our fellow men re-build their lives.
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