There is a reason why “Shelter” is one of the three basic (and important) human needs with “food” and “clothing” being the other two.
Apart from the obvious reason of providing protection from the weather, shelter gives tangibility to a person’s notion of a home – a physical manifestation, so to speak. It is a place where one comes to at the end of the day to find rest and personal security.
It is a tragedy that a great majority of Filipino families do not have decent dwelling places which they can call “home”.
But there is hope. It may be a long standing problem, but it is most definitely something that we can all come together for and change for the better.
World Habitat Day 2014
The observance and continuous awareness of this worldwide concern is never more emphasized than during “World Habitat Day” which is celebrated every first monday of October (this year being October 6, 2014). It is the one day set aside annually by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize the basic right of all humanity to adequate shelter, and to encourage grassroots action toward ending poverty housing.
Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ 1st Online Champion Build
The core focus on providing decent homes to more than 4 million Filipino informal settlers is always at the forefront of Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
In light of World Habitat Day 2014, Habitat for Humanity Philippines prepared exciting and meaningful activities last October 4, 2014 in Quezon City which I was so thankful to be a part of.
I eagerly woke up early in the morning (which I don’t normally do) with the thought of being an instrument for change. It was Habitat for Humanity Philippines’ 1st ever “Online Champion Build” – a day like no other which I eagerly anticipated.
Together with my wife and other Online Champions, we were given the amazing opportunity to shape towns and cities of the future by participating in construction work for Habitat’s home partners.
It was a way for me and others to become channels of blessings as well to be able to give of ourselves through time and effort.
It’s one thing to call out and encourage people to donate, but to actually give of yourself and be part of the effort is another. And that is something that I did not want to pass up on.
The good folks of Habitat for Humanity Philippines organized us in groups of threes and were each assigned to paint a designated house.
There was a sense of friendly competition with other groups as we tried our best to make our designated units look better than others. Competitive banter ensued mixed with tons of laughter and camaraderie.
We probably spent a good hour or two working on our respective homes. It was absolutely fun. More than that, the fulfilment we got after completing our task and knowing we spent considerable and selfless time for others was immeasurable.
Check out a quick hyperlapse video I made during our house painting time…
Habitat for Humanity Philippines also offered participants and Online Champions (like me!) the chance to immerse and understand their way of living, help out in medical missions, take part in a sports clinic with Chris Tiu, and bond with the children of the community.
After all the activities, all the Online Champions were treated to an incredible World Habitat Day 2014 lunch prepared by the wonderful people of Bistekville 1 who have benefited from the amazing efforts of Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
And what better kind of lunch is there that best symbolizes brotherhood than a really cool BOODLE FEAST! Nice!
It was the perfect finish to a very productive day of caring and giving. Oh, and the chicken adobo and inihaw na bangus was delicious!
I’d like to personally thank the people of Habitat for Humanity Philippines for giving me the opportunity to help others and to give more of myself.
World Habitat Day 2014 has blessed me the same way our less fortunate brothers and sisters are blessed continuously by this wonderful organization who tirelessly looks after a multitude of Filipino families providing much needed shelter and better lives.
I am in awe of your efforts.
So… how else does a home positively effect change, you may ask?
While improving a person’s much needed dignity, a safe and decent home provides stability for children and a sense of pride to any family.
A safe and decent home is also a place where families can truly build wonderful memories together.
And though, as cliche as it sounds, that “home is where the heart is”, that heart still needs to park and rest in a “real” home to recharge and prepare for the daily challenges that await.
Habitat for Humanity Philippines, slowly but surely, makes those homes possible.
Be part of change.
I’d like to encourage everyone who is reading this to look beyond your homes and communities. Go beyond your comfort zones and see and that so many of our fellow Pinoys need us.
There is always something you can give. It doesn’t even have to be monetary at all. Give of your time, your love and effort. But it all starts with knowing that change starts with YOU.
A common ideal and a community that comes together to work relentlessly to realize an objective is a powerful thing. So, don’t sit idly by and watch change happen right before your very eyes. Be part of it and make it happen… sooner rather than later.
Buy a burger and help build a home
I’d like to invite you all to please support my “All Chucked Up!” burger at Burger Company. 10% of all its sales will go to Habitat for Humanity Philippines to help their efforts in uplifting Filipino families all over the country. You can click here to know more about it.