A Habitat for Humanity-WingsOverAsia building program provides needy families with simple and decent places to live in.
Contributed By Sharon Tan
The group of pilots completed their final safety checks and signaled to the control tower. A fleet of private aircraft taxied the runway awaiting their turn to take-off early in the morning of Nov. 20 from Seletar Airport. However, this was not your usual company of pilots but rather a group totaling 20 people—both pilots and their families on an important mission.
A joint project by WingsOverAsia and Habitat for Humanity Singapore, they were flying over to Batam Island in neighboring Indonesia to personally contribute to Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to eliminate substandard housing throughout the world. The aviation enthusiasts set off to Dapur 12 Village, located in the Sagulung sub-district in Batam to help build quality housing for the residents there. Prior to that, many of them lived in non-permanent structures, or rumah liar, that did not meet minimum housing requirements and were often subject to damage by forces of nature.
The recreational flying community from WingsOverAsia consists of working professionals from various industries drawn together by their common interest and a desire to give back to the less fortunate. Since the beginning of November, different teams from Daimler, Walt Disney, Singapore American School, Standard Chartered Bank and Barclays Capital have also participated in the Batam project each week.
The group took part as volunteers on a one-day build program from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., lending their efforts to the building project and providing money for building materials. The Batam Housing project has set a target to build 380 new houses and repair a further 4,620 homes by the end of 2010. In total, this project will benefit 5,000 families who currently live in sub-standard conditions.
|PHOTOS COURTESY OF WINGSOVERASIA|
“We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of volunteers from all walks of life, as we strive together to make this world a place where every child can have a decent place to call home. WingsOverAsia is an excellent example of how anyone can help, just by putting thought into action. We are delighted that this group of pilots is willing to come together and combine their love for flying with their desire to help those in need; and they are doing it in such a novel way! We are thankful, and look forward to more collaborations in the future,” said Yong Teck Meng, national director of Habitat for Humanity Singapore.
Habitat for Humanity also has building projects in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, East Malaysia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam where volunteers can live and work with the host community to eliminate substandard housing.