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Habitat for Humanity’s annual Jimmy Carter Work Project kicks off in India

Celebrities join thousands of volunteers to help build 100 homes and raise awareness about the need for affordable housing

Contact:
Tom Price, Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia, Director of Communications
+44 151 280 4485; tprice@habitat.org

Tricia Deering, Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia, Senior Communications Manager
+36 1 411 2170; tdeering@habitat.org

 

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Actor, architect and philanthropist Brad Pitt builds alongside Habitat for Humanity International CEO Jonathan Reckford on the Habitat build site during the 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Lonavala, India.

 

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Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter greets actor, architect and philanthropist Brad Pitt on the site of Habitat for Humanity’s 2006 Jimmy Carter Work Project in Lonavala, India.

MUMBAI (Oct. 30, 2006) – One-hundred homes are being built this week during the annual Habitat for Humanity project led by former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. More than 2,000 volunteers from North and South America, Europe, Asia and from across India are taking part in building homes in partnership with low-income families from the Lonavala area.

“We’ve realized that people across the globe have the same basic needs, dreams and aspirations,” said Carter at a press conference from the build site. “Habitat’s program depends on finding families who cannot otherwise afford housing.”

He also spoke about Habitat’s Jimmy Carter Work Projects publicizing the basic “right to sleep” in a decent shelter.

“Habitat for Humanity volunteers are following the Carters’ example of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Every person who is part of this project will be enriched this week by working with Habitat partner families who are helping to improve their lives and the lives of others in the community.”

The Habitat homes in India are being built in partnership with low-income families who currently live in dilapidated and temporary housing. The need for housing in India is dire since nearly a quarter of its 1.1 billion population live on less than US$1 per day. Habitat for Humanity has been at work in India since 1983 building and renovating nearly 12,000 homes plus providing an additional 1,700 homes in tsunami-affected areas, making it one of the homebuilding organization’s largest country programs.

Actor, architect and philanthropist Brad Pitt joined the Carters and volunteers to help build a new home with Habitat partner family Aziz and Sadhiya Sheikh. Pitt laid cement blocks that will help complete the exterior of the home.

Also helping to build simple, decent Habitat homes on Monday were Diana Hayden, former Miss World and Miss India; Steve Waugh, internationally-known Australian cricket player; and Pooja Bedi, actress and long-term Habitat for Humanity supporter in India; among other celebrities and dignitaries.

This year’s JCWP is associated with Habitat for Humanity India’s “India Builds” program. The five-year campaign plans to engage 1 million volunteers in helping to provide shelter in partnership with 250,000 people. The campaign also seeks to raise funds for a sustainable revolving fund worth US$50 million.

The Carters are Habitat’s most famous volunteers. Each year since 1984, the Carters have given one week of their time to build homes and raise awareness about the need for simple, decent and affordable housing. Previous JCWP events have been held in New York City, Georgia, Michigan, the Philippines, Hungary, South Korea and South Africa. Habitat’s JCWP 2007 will be in Los Angeles.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project, visit www.habitat.org/jcwp/2006/.

Major partners include Citigroup, Dow India, Vedanta Resources, Posco India, Whirlpool Corporation, Cisco, HDFC Ltd., Aditya Birla Group and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

About Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia
Habitat for Humanity is a nondenominational Christian charity dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. It has built more than 200 000 houses; more than one million people are living in Habitat homes they helped build and own through low-cost, no-profit mortgages. We have positively affected lives in 100 countries around the globe. Habitat’s Europe & Central Asia regional headquarters are in Budapest, Hungary. The ECA region is actively fundraising, building and renovating homes with families in need. www.habitateurope.org