9 August 2001
Lee Jong Rok, homeowner, Asan, Korea
by Milana McLead
After moving some 30 times during his adult life, 56-year-old Lee Jong Rok couldn't wait for the day when he could move into his new Habitat house in Asan, Korea. "I've been living in another person's house for 35 years," he says. "I can't explain how I feel."
His house, one of 136 units constructed across six sites during this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project, was completed in early August.
To qualify for his Habitat house, Lee's family was required to work 500 hours of "sweat equity." Disabled from Infantile Paralysis (Polio), working his sweat equity hours was a challenge, but he was determined. "I wanted to do more hours [than required]," he says. His family had worked more than 800 hours by August; Leewho uses a wheelchair or crutches to get aroundworked 150 of those hours painting hand-made signs for every building and installing electrical outlets throughout the project.
Despite the effort required to get their new house, Lee and his wife, Moon Soon Sun, 47, welcomed the work. "I have given my time, my sweat," says Moon. "By moving into this house, I can get rid of the old life. I don't have to remember it."
The "old life" was a difficult one. Moving nearly every six months was hard enough. But fear of disease from living amid rats and cockroaches was a constant worry as well. "That house was very dirty, no matter how hard we tried to keep the house clean," Lee says. "Once we began working on the Habitat house, we became crazy to continue working on the new house."
The new house brings security and peace of mind to the Lee family. At last, they have a place to call home. "We are thinking that we will never go out of the house," Moon says. And certainly, she says, "we are never going to move again."
Milana McLead is the Editor for Habitat World magazine
Cyclist Team Coverge at CheonAn University
by Sue Richter
On Saturday, August 4th, two Habitat Campus Chapters cyclist teams for the JCWP converged at CheonAn University in South Korea.
The teams cycled 484 kilometers to raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity, and were each composed of 80 cyclists and ten-member logistics crews. Team one began their journey in Hiroshima, Japan, and team two began in Seoul, South Korea.
Saturday evening the two teams kicked off the CCYP/JCWP celebration with music, dance and drumming.
Yasuo, the Japanese cyclists' representative, and Sung Koo Cho, the Korean cyclists' representative, rallied the student body and fellow cyclists with humor and a video montage of the cycling trip.
One song performed by a CheonAn University student included the lyrics, "We share a dream for this land."
On August 10th the two teams will participate in the JCWP closing ceremonies.
Sue Richter is the Communications Manager for the Northeast Regional Office
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