To celebrate International Women's Day 2019, Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong has partnered with Mother's Choice and Pathfinders on Women Build, a project that provides renovation services for women, teenagers and children to improve their living conditions. Habitat ambassador and Tatler 500 lister Emily Lam-Ho shares why the Women Build project is especially meaningful to her:

Making an impact

My first experience with Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong was back in 2012 when I was working for CSLA. With my colleagues at the time, I volunteered for a renovation project in Tai O, which is when I first saw the tangible impact that Habitat for Humanity has on a family's life.

The Women Build project

Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity has been running the Women Build project, where volunteers from all walks of life come together to build stronger, safer communities.

In Hong Kong, Habitat for Humanity has partnered with Mother's Choice, Pathfinders and social service partners to renovate the living spaces used by pregnant at-risk teenagers, vulnerable migrant workers and low-income elderly women who live in public housing.

Becoming an ambassador

I participated in the Women Build project last year so when [Habitat for Humanity] invited me to become their ambassador, it was the perfect opportunity to get more involved. 

I'm delighted to be able to support a project and organisation that's so impactful and in line with my passions. Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live, and homes provide a foundation for families to build a stronger and more hopeful future.

A typical day

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity is a lot of fun, but be prepared for a hard day of work! The day begins with a safety briefing and some background on Habitat for Humanity and the beneficiaries you'll be supporting. 

Next, it's time to get to work. The Habitat team and skilled contractors will give you instructions and guidance on how to scrape the peeling paint off, apply primer and finally, a coat of fresh paint to the walls and ceilings.

Be ready to learn new skills—just last Saturday, I learned the art of plastering! A few of my closest friends joined me at Women Build and we found it to be a great bonding experience. 

The importance of a home

The most rewarding thing about Women Build is seeing lives transformed, confidence built and hope for a new future come to light! When we have a roof over our heads and a door to lock at night, families flourish. With a decent home, kids’ attendance at school increases dramatically, families are healthier and employment opportunities are far greater.

For many of us here in Hong Kong, a safe and decent home is something we take for granted, which is why it's so important to remember that this basic necessity is denied for many. I am so proud to be part of an organisation that works tirelessly to bring safe housing to families around the world.

What about men?

Men are very welcome and actually, my husband Kent was with us last Saturday! We strongly believe in bringing men and women together to empower women. This project is about uniting communities to serve the individuals who need our support most. 

Get involved

If you would like to participate in Women Build 2019, no experience is necessary but a minimum donation of HK$1,000 is required. Volunteers will be involved with renovation sessions all throughout March; contact Habitat for Humanity's Claire Walsh at or call +852 2520 4009.

Find out more at Habitat For Humanity Hong Kong

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