The 5th Asia-Pacific Forum was held in Hong Kong with the purpose of discussing sustainable solutions for the issue of inadequate housing. This year’s forum focused on 4 major discussion tracks: Building Leadership, Impacting Communities, Building Markets, and Impacting Society. Several CDNIS Habitat for Humanity Executive students attended the forum on September 3rd and after school on September 4th.
“On Sept 3rd, I went to the Asia Pacific Housing Forum organised by Habitat for Humanity. The two sessions that I attended were “Improved Living Goes Hand in Hand with Safe Water and Sanitation” and “How Can the Right Housing Policies Empower Communities to Withstand Climate Change-Related Disasters?”. My biggest takeaway from the conference was that building a house is crucial in improving people’s living standards, but what’s equally as important is that these people need to be taught the “basic” routines/tasks such as how to flush a toilet and access to clean water. These skills are needed in order for them to survive in the Habitat for Humanity house. We often think the “basics” are known by everyone, however they’re not since many may have never seen or have had access to them before. Something many speakers stressed was community empowerment. Community empowerment allows for communication and discussion, resulting in increased knowledge and awareness. The world’s poorest people are most dependent on the planet’s most productive area for resources and help. We’re very fortunate to be living in one of the most productive areas, and so we, as a group and a community here at CDNIS, can help make a difference together!” – Reflection by Tomoka Masuda (President of Habitat for Humanity’s CDNIS Chapter)