TOKYO (May, 2017) — For over 30 years, Bank of America has supported Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Since 1986, Bank of America has donated more than US$75 million to Habitat for Humanity’s work around the world, with more than US$55 million in cash and property donations to Habitat for Humanity International. In addition, the bank has supported Habitat’s response efforts following the Nepal earthquake and other natural disasters.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the global partnership, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Habitat Japan joined hands for the first time to improve living conditions for children at Bott Memorial Home in Tokyo in October last year.
In May this year, Habitat Japan had the opportunity once again to work with the bank when the latter organized a volunteering session for more than 60 of its executives not only from Japan but also across the Asia-Pacific region. Its executives helped at a foster home for children and centers for after-school care. At the home Kibo-no-ie, the volunteers replaced worn-out floor boards with brighter, more comfortable wooden flooring in two rooms. “The floor was too cold and hard for the children to sit on while playing with toys, but now the whole room feels warm and bright. The children will be happy,” said one of the care takers at the home. With the children’s safety and wellbeing in mind, the volunteers paid much attention to details. The result was such neat flooring that the professional workman who oversaw the renovation was pleasantly surprised by the volunteers’ effort.
The volunteers also replaced the paper used on Shoji wood frame screens and painted walls to improve the children’s living conditions. One of the volunteers was so happy with what he and his team mates had achieved that he promised to return next year for another volunteering stint.
The volunteers’ commitment and the bank’s financial support are vital to fulfilling our shared goals of building strength, stability, independence and housing. Habitat Japan looks forward to more of such meaningful partnerships. Through shelter, we empower.