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Overseas Politicians Wield Hammers For Habitat Korea * * * * One-day Build Raises Profile Of Habitat At International Parliamentary Assembly

September 12, 2005

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Politician at work: Ireland’s Richard Manley, Michael Finneran and Donal Moynihan (at rear), and Raveloarson Wellinat of Madagascar (front) get to grips with a Korean Habitat build site

MOKCHEON, 12th September 2005: Four overseas politicians, in South Korea to attend the 2005 general assembly of Inter-Parliamentarians for Social Service (IPSS) in Seoul, took time out to raise their hammers at a Habitat build.

The four legislator volunteers nailed asphalt shingles onto the roof of one of 16 houses currently under construction at a Habitat for Humanity Korea project in Mokcheon, Cheonan province. Mokcheon is about 130 km south of Seoul.

For Irish politician Richard Manley, a newcomer to any kind of construction project, the experience was a novel one.

“It was exciting to participate in a program that has helped house so many people in need over the years,” he said.

“And there was the added thrill for me of being on a roof for the first time.”

The project includes 32 houses in all; 16 were completed last year. The other 16 are scheduled to be finished at the end of September.

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Proud honorary Habitat Koreans: Irish parliamentarians Donal Moynihan and Michael Finneran; Madagascar legislators Raveloarson Wellinat, and Irish politician Richard Manley tour the Habitat site at Mokcheon

The group included Michael Finneran and Donal Moynihan, two members of parliament from Ireland, as well as Manley, who is the secretary of Ireland’s Joint Committee on Social and Family Affairs.

The fourth volunteer was Raveloarson Wellinat, a member of Madagascar’s parliament and the president of that country’s women’s parliamentarian group.

She also helped found a Habitat affiliate in Madagascar, and she spoke at the IPSS general assembly about Habitat’s work there.

IPSS was created by the National Assembly of South Korea in 2003. It has 230 member countries and aims to build a social services network around the world.

Members of parliament from some 30 countries attended last month’s general assembly along with about 38 Korean MPs.