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We, the youth of the Asia Pacific, recognize our power to shape the future of the region and acknowledge our ability to positively contribute to mitigating its housing problems.

We embrace our role and responsibility of taking concrete steps towards contributing to the Asia-Pacific region’s development agenda and realizing the vision of a world where everyone has access to affordable housing in sustainable and inclusive communities where every family can thrive and attain strength, stability and self-reliance.

Recognizing our unique position, we have identified five opportunities for action for young people:

  1. Building partnerships. Collaborate with actors in government, businesses, grassroots communities to design and implement multi-dimensional, sustainable solutions that allow families to live in safe, decent homes and livable cities.
    • Partner with like-minded organizations, corporations, and other non-profits to foster an environment that is conducive to learning and a healthy mind and body
    • Partner with emerging and professional artists within the community to nurture a sense of belonging.
    • Partner with students, engineers, and innovators who can redesign houses and its components.
  1. Advocating. Formally and informally work with the government to change or improve policies and systems to unlock land, financing and other resources and allow more families to access affordable housing and secure tenure.
    • Organize school level advocacy activities that will help in influencing policies and social actions at a community level.
    • Use social media to connect people to work together in identifying and bridging gaps in policies and systems and to echo the voices of people without access to digital platforms.
    • Explore ideas of alternative housing models such as ‘communal housing’ and see if these are culturally appropriate and potentially effective, and if so, to initiate projects that will change mindsets.
  1. Volunteering, which provides meaningful engagement opportunities locally and internationally beyond build sites that empower young people to lead and participate in creating positive societal impact and leverages young people’s time and expertise in running programs.
    • Organize small groups of school youth club members to visit with families living in substandard shelter to get to know and interview them. By interviewing the families, young people can better understand their experiences living in these circumstances.
    • Initiate community-level training on waste management and disposal, the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle, and promotion of proper hygiene, clean water and safe sanitation
    • Work with other young people to visit homes of the elderly, differently-abled and assist in repair and clean up.
  1. Raising Resources by mobilizing different types of support including cash, goods, services, facilities, knowledge, skills and influence to implement the identified projects and activities in order to attain the desired objective.
    • Raise financial resources to support identified projects by connecting and fundraising from schools, communities, corporations, organizations and governments.
    • Build relationships with human resources that contribute required skills training and honing talents.
    • Apply for funding grants from foundations, organizations and institutions.
  1. Raising Awareness through educating peers and spreading the word on the issues of housing, urbanization and sustainable communities and how decent housing provides a pathway out of poverty, and galvanizing their own networks towards contributing to addressing these.
    • Form and organize a “human library,” which will be a collection of testimonials of people who have lived in substandard housing who can share their lived experiences.
    • Create art, music, movies and documentaries that outline the challenges of substandard housing and how to overcome them.
    • Lobby for schools to allocate more time for lectures, field trips and other activities to increase the awareness of students about housing and other social issues.

The Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda provided a historic opportunity to ensure that high-level commitments were made and housing was properly addressed in the next 20 years. However, the hard work of carrying them out lies ahead.

We, the youth of the Asia-Pacific, with the support and in partnership with other stakeholders in the government, corporations, and civil society, will leverage our expertise and energy in taking the necessary actions to contribute to the development agenda of our region.


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