World Habitat Day – Housing For All!


As you might know, one of the basic needs and one of the first needs of Maslow’s hierarchy, is the physiological need, which includes shelter. Having a safe shelter is a basic human need and essential for survival, which is why the United Nations have set up World Habitat Day. World Habitat Day not only raises awareness for the importance of shelter, but also advocates the development of safer shelter and cities and towns. It is an important day for people to take action about the development and the future of their surroundings and cities. So let’s take a closer look at World Habitat Day.

World Habitat Day

World Habitat Day Poster
Every first month of October is also known as the World Habitat Day. It is a day to celebrate proper shelter for everyone. Everyone deserves to have a safe shelter and that is what World Habitat Day for. World Habitat Day is designed to “reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat”(World Habitat Day).

World Habitat Day History Lesson

The first World Habitat Day was celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya in 1986. The theme of that year “Shelter is My Right”. Each year there is a different theme for World Habitat Day and is held in different cities. Since then the World Habitat Day have been held all over the world, including Japan, United States, China, Saudi Arabia, England, and Jamaica. Each year, the World Habitat Day would focus on a unique theme and how the theme is influenced and aim to fix or raise awareness to certain issues.

2020 World Habitat Day

This year’s World Habitat Day’s theme is Housing for All – A Better Urban Future. With the world climate as it is now, having a safe shelter is extremely important. Thus, this year’s World Habitat Day is aimed to raise awareness about safe shelter. With social distances and quarantine, having proper housing is even more important, which is why World Habitat Day is advocating for housing for all. In addition, on World Habitat Day, the United Nations has an Scroll of Honors Award. Not sure what Scroll of Honors is, keep on reading to find out one of the key events of World Habitat Day.

Scroll of Honors

You must be wondering what is a scroll of honor and how does it relates to World Habitat Day. Well, The Habitat Scroll of Honor is one of the most prestigious awards for human settlement. This award not only highlights the importance of World Habitat Day, but it also awards the recipients for their amazing accomplishments on housing, protecting, preserving and planning for the future and others. “It aims to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in the field of human settlements, provision of housing, highlighting the plight of people living in poverty or who have been displaced, developing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life to leave no one behind echoing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with emphasis on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities” (Scroll of Honour).This award is announced each year on World Habitat Day since 2018.

How you can participate

Volunteer on World habitat Day by building houses
You must be wondering, how do you participate in World Habitat Day? Well, there are always ways, such as donation, fundraising, volunteering, sharing and advocating for World Habitat Day and the meaning behind it. In fact, World Habitat Day is involved with a very well-known volunteer program called Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is a program where you can help build homes in your local community or abroad. There are many different options for you, you can do it for the long term, you can choose to travel and so on. Similar to any other day, if you can share about World Habitat Day on your social media or with your friends and family is also a great way to participate. If you have the power and ability, take action with your community and government and see what they are doing for the shelters and safety of your community is also one option. There are many ways you can participate on World Habitat Day, whether you are doing it online or physically.

In Conclusion

By now, you should know enough about World Habitat Day. While this year’s World Habitat Day has already passed, you don’t have to limit yourself to only advocate or learn about it that one day. In fact, it is best to be vocal about it everyday and you can also prepare for next year’s World Habitat Day. If you are interested in any of the volunteer opportunities, please check out your local community or online with Humanity for Human or the United Nations. They are always happy to have more people to help and educate more people about World Habitat Day.

“Scroll of Honour.” World Habitat Day | Urban October. Web. 07 Oct. 2020.
“World Habitat Day.” The United Nations. Web. 07 Oct. 2020.
Author: Monica Chang
On my own ethical journey since 2010. Always happy to learn more!