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Habitat for Humanity And SAMPARC Sign Official Partnership Agreement For 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project  

Former US President Jimmy Carter to lead volunteers from around the world in week-long build to help 100 marginalized families in Lonavala

LONAVALA, 26th  August 2006:  Habitat for Humanity today formally teamed up with Maval-based SAMPARC (Social Action for Manpower Creation) to officially pave for the 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project, an exciting week-long project that will see thousands of volunteers build 100 houses for and with local families in need.

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Sweat equity: homepartner families put in their volunteer time for the 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project .

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Getting ready: foundations are in and the first sets of blocks are being built in Patan village, site of the 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project

The formal memorandum of agreement was signed at a special ceremony at the SAMPARC Balgram village in Maval, near the hill resort town of Lonavala. Among these attending the ceremony were Mr. Sampat Khilare, Tahsildar, Taluka Maval, Sarpanch of 26 villages and representatives of the families who will benefit from the project.

“We are delighted to be partnering with SAMPARC whose work with women and children in villages throughout the Moval area is making such a difference to the lives of the poor,”  Like SAMPARC and its affiliated groups, Habitat believes the most effective programs are based on the principles of co-operation, mutual help and community-based decision-making. This partnership with SAMPARC allows us both to put those principles into action,” said Felix Fernandes, chief operating office of Habitat for Humanity India.

SAMPARC’s president Mr. K.K. Singhvi added: “We are really proud to be associated with Jimmy Carter Work Project and the partnership with Habitat for Humanity allows us to offer a new dimension to our work, providing safe, secure, affordable homes for some of the most marginalized people in and around Lonavala.”

The international annual Jimmy Carter Work Project is to be held from 30th October to 3rd November.

The former US president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, will be among thousands of Indian and international volunteers building homes alongside local families in need who will live in the homes.

The week-long event involving the building of 100 homes in Patan village, Lonavala, is the first signature event for Habitat for Humanity India’s indiaBUILDS campaign. indiaBUILDS is designed to highlight the dire need for affordable housing in this country of 1.1 billion people, nearly a quarter of whom live on less than US$1 a day. The campaign aims to provide decent shelter for 250,000 people in India by 2010, through mobilizing one million volunteers and raising sufficient money for a sustainable US$50 million revolving housing fund.

The 100-home JCWP project involves members of various self-help groups run by Abhinav Cooperative Credit Society (ACS), an arm of SAMPARC’s.

The 100 JCWP homeowners have been selected from 12 of the villages where ACS is active. The homeowner families have been recommended by ACS and selected by a committee representing both Habitat for Humanity and ACS.

Families have been selected on the basis of need; ability to repay; willingness to partner with Habitat and contribute “sweat equity” and being member of ACS. Families were selected on a non-discrimination basis irrespective of their caste and religion.

Families have already started volunteering their time – their “sweat equity” – attending the work site in groups each day, participating in sticking and laying blocks, working on a test house and other jobs. By the end of the JCWP week each family will have put in 300 hours of work at the site.

During JCWP, volunteers and homepartner families work to build walls, fit doors and windows, lay roofs, and all the other jobs necessary to safely create habitable new homes.

Once completed, each family will pay back an affordable, no-profit mortgage.

Mortgage repayments over eight years – will go into a revolving fund. The fund will allow Habitat and SAMPARC to finance building of homes for additional families in future.

Today’s agreement calls for Habitat for Humanity to use its construction and project management expertise to be responsible for funding and implementing the project. ACS and SAMPARC, who understand each family’s ability to take on the commitment of a housing mortgage on the basis of previous rounds of micro-credit loans, will be responsible for maintaining and managing the collection of family payments for the houses.

JCWP 2006, like Habitat for Humanity activities around the world, attracts the support of many individuals, corporates and organizations that provide leadership, resources, expertise, funds and time. Among those committing support to this year’s build in Lonavala are Citigroup, Aditya Birla Group, Dow Chemical, Whirlpool Corporation, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and POSCO, the giant steel group from Korea.

This year will be the 23rd annual Jimmy Carter Work Project. It has been held in Asia twice before, in Philippines in 1999 and in South Korea in 2001. The 2005 JCWP was held in Michigan in the USA.

About Habitat for Humanity International

Habitat for Humanity is an international, non-governmental organization that welcomes to its work people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, repaired and renovated more than 200,000 homes in thousands of communities around the world, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than one million people. For more information, please visit www.habitat.org/asiapacific

About ACS and SAMPARC

Abhinav Cooperative Credit Society (ACS) was established in 1998 and is a part of SAMPARC. ACCS has 600 shareholders of 48 registered groups in 26 villages. ACCS runs a credit society, promotes education, and organizes programs on nutrition, health care, legal rights, women’s empowerment, income generation, social forestry and community development. SAMPARC (Social Action for Manpower Creation) is ADD