Wednesday, December 17, 2008

International Volunteers Day – 5 December 2008

On International Volunteers Day, Habitat for Humanity International – Bangladesh held volunteer builds for Community Youth Groups (CYGs) at three satellites across the country – Mymensingh, Jessore and Satkhira.

The Habitat Bangladesh volunteers from Mymensingh satellite lend their hands to build the home of Mohammed Abul Kalam at Kaltapara, Khamar Shingjani, Dhohakhala, Gouripur, Mymensingh on International Volunteers Day on 5 December. Nine volunteers provided unskilled labor for the homeowner.

Abul Kalam is married and lives with his parents and his son in his house. He came to know about Habitat Bangladesh from other homeowner in the same area. He was very happy that volunteers were willing to help him to build his house. Both his family and neighbors were encouraged to assist in the house construction when they came to know that the young volunteers had come on their own will. The volunteers enjoyed the work very much, and had fun despite the manual labor being a little hard in the beginning. The staff at Mymensingh gave t-shirts to the volunteers as a sign of appreciation for their time and effort.

Jessore satellite celebrated International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December 2008. 7 Community Youth Group (CYG) members, social workers and the entire satellite staff participated in a build. The program started with prayer at 9 am. Jessore Satellite Coordinator, Mr. Gobinda Das spoke about the significance of International Volunteer Day (IVD). Many people live in substandard houses around the world. Habitat for Humanity International is working to eliminate poverty housing from the face of the earth. Every person has the right to live in a decent and adequate house. However, it is a big challenge for the poorest of the poor to build a house. So, Habitat for Humanity International helps to minimize the cost of the house for the owner, by hosting volunteers who provide manual labor. Mr. Das saluted the volunteers for their selfless support towards meaningful development in the community.

As a part of the manual labor provided for the homeowner, volunteers moved around 2,000 bricks for the house, mixed cement and brick chips, and excavated the house foundations. Homeowner Swapna Mondol and her neighbors were very pleased with the volunteers, as they had never expected to receive such support from Habitat Bangladesh and its volunteers.

Through the activities of IVD, the community came to know about the sacrifice and dedication of the volunteers of Habitat Bangladesh. This event promoted HFH and volunteers as change making and advocacy tools for the community.

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