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Completing homes for the needy in Macedonia

July 15, 2011

Bratislava/Veles (July 16, 2011) – The world’s biggest steelmaking company, ArcelorMittal, is sending over 20 volunteers, local and international, to Veles, an industrial town in central Macedonia. They will be working on the final stages of construction for the first Habitat housing complex in Macedonia. In one week, the team will finish interior decorations – painting and varnishing – as well as clean a land plot. ArcelorMittal volunteers taking part in this project come from nine countries and three continents.

“The ArcelorMittal Foundation through its Solidarity holidays is helping to make this world a smaller and warmer place for all those homeless people who would never ever dream of their own place. The work of ArcelorMittal employees in a country other than their own gives an unforgettable experience of a lifetime”, says Rajendran Mandamparambil, project manager at ArcelorMittal Foundation.

Habitat for Humanity Macedonia began construction on an entire housing complex for the needy families in Veles in October 2009. The project will provide 11 housing units of 90 apartments. Today, four buildings are in the final stages of construction. They will house 24 families in apartments between 50 and 75 square meters.

“We are very happy to have someone like ArcelorMittal come and join our efforts in lending a hand up from housing poverty. ArcelorMittal is a wonderful example for both local and international companies in corporate social responsibility and we hope it will pave the way for more to follow ArcelorMittal’s lead”, says Liljana Alceva, deputy director for program at Habitat for Humanity Macedonia.

At the end of April, Habitat for Humanity Macedonia and the partner families signed contracts to formalize the participation in the program. Veles families who were in urgent need of improving their living conditions could apply. They were selected based on their housing need, family income and willingness to work with Habitat. One of the main selection criteria were – current inadequate housing conditions and a minimal stable income below the national average.

The partner families took an active part in the construction of their own homes alongside over 500 volunteers from the US, Canada, Europe, and Macedonia. The construction process is supported by individuals, associations, and companies from North America, Europe and Macedonia.

The world’s top steelmaker has teamed up with Habitat to build and renovate hundreds of homes as well as to create a groundbreaking steel-framed model of a durable, safe and affordable home. The first examples of this partnership were unveiled last year in Moinesti, Romania, where 12 families moved into their new homes built from steel frames.

Over the last three years, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has helped Habitat to support over 700 families. ArcelorMittal employees were involved in volunteering at the Habitat build sites in Latin America, Africa and Europe. Earlier this year, the ArcelorMittal Foundation sent groups of international volunteers to Habitat projects in South Africa and in Mexico. Now, they are also coming to work in Macedonia.

In addition to building and renovating, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has generously supported Habitat’s reconstruction efforts in Haiti. To date, steel donated by ArcelorMittal has been used in 310 transitional shelters. There are plans to build a further 1,900 units.

About ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel company, with operations in more than 60 countries. ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. The ArcelorMittal Foundation acts as a philanthropic arm of the company. Find out more at www.arcelormittal.com

About Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built and renovated more than 400,000 homes worldwide. In Europe and Central Asia, Habitat works in 22 countries with partners, donors and volunteers from the region. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitateurope.org

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