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First Partnership in Southern China With Leprosy Partner Approaches Completion **** Elderly Villagers To Have Decent Homes By End of September

NANNING, 1st September 2005: A new Habitat partnership with The Leprosy Mission International and European industrial giant Siemens is set to notch up its first success in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi with a ten-home project nearing completion.

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Preparing for something better: foundations for new Habitat homes close to existing structures

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Unstable: existing homes in Dingwo, soon to be replaced by Habitat security

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Blueprints: Habitat’s Bryan and officials discuss new house designs with elderly residents of Dingwo leprosy rehabilitation village

Foundations have already been dug and construction is well under way for a 30th September completion date.

The project is in Dingwo leprosy rehabilitation village, one hour outside of the provincial capital of Nanning. This is the first build by Habitat for Humanity’s Nanning-based Guangxi Project Office.

Ten elderly villagers currently have no clean water, leaking roofs and no sanitation facilities.

The project involves ten 28 sq. m. homes behind existing houses with a public bathroom and a 40-m. deep well.

A team of Siemens’ international management trainees came to help clear the forest of banana trees that originally covered the site. Siemens is also funding the construction of two homes. Team members, originally from Germany and Austria, are based in Siemens operations in Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing.

The main building has been undertaken by a hired contractor.

A team of Nanning college student volunteers are expected to be involved with the final plastering.

The principal financial supporter is The Leprosy Mission International, which also included funds for a four-wheel drive vehicle.

“TLMI has been a tremendous supporter and we thank them,” said Habitat regional program advisor Bryan Withall. “TLMI has also expressed interested in supporting a five-year project with our Guangxi Project Office for leprosy affected people living outside rehabilitation villages.”

A similar partnership could happen in Habitat’s Yunnan Project Office in the southwest of China.

Habitat’s China operations are a branch of Habitat for Humanity International.