Habitat Youth Leadership Board representative, Taylor Kennard

Sep 20, 2021

Taylor, who is in her third year at AUT studying criminology and volunteering with Habitat since early 2020, was recently nominated to represent Habitat NZ at the Asia Pacific Youth Leadership Board. 
“The Habitat for Humanity Youth Leadership Board (HYLB) Regional Volunteer Corp was created months ago and is made up of representatives from 12 countries across the Asia Pacific area. The Asia Pacific area was a particularly important area to begin the Youth Corp as according to the Asian Development Bank, there are more than 1.1 billion young people aged 15-29 living in Asia and Pacific, home to 60% of the world’s young people. 

The aim of assembling the Habitat for Humanity Youth Corp is to primarily deepen the engagement of Habitat leaders across the region, providing a platform for a continuation of youth engagement, and to enact Habitat’s strategic objective to mobilise volunteers as hearts, hands, and voices for the cause of adequate, affordable housing. The Youth Corp essentially exists; to aid in the development of youth leaders within Habitat for Humanity so that representatives spread their knowledge through to their regions volunteers and encourage peers and youth alike to take part in Habitat’s mission.
Throughout this time, we have been meeting via Zoom roughly 2-3 times a month, primarily to take part in a leadership course designed and delivered by the Centre for Creative Leadership Inc. Through this course we are learning and developing the theory behind leadership skills, knowledge, and understanding of how we can apply these skills within the Habitat for Humanity environment.

We’ve also been holding separate HYLB meetings to discuss our involvement in the Asia Pacific Housing Forum, in particular the Youth Congress. The Youth Congress will bring together at least 200 young people, aged 15-30 years old, who have led community projects that contribute to Habitat’s mission. This will provide young leaders with a regional platform to showcase their projects and discuss the resources youth need to scale up their projects and impact. The youth will also provide insight into the issue of decent, affordable housing, their stake in the issue, and ways they contribute to the solutions. Through our meetings, we have had to use the contacts that we have gained through our time at Habitat to put forward any organisations or people that we believe can participate in the Forum.

I’ve found it interesting to hear what has been going on in other countries,” said Taylor Kennard.