The Publication of Habitat for Humanity International | April / May 2002
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Decent, Affordable, Habitat Houses Bring Transformation

In South Africa: A Sense of Place Yields Stability

In India: A Joy That Knows No Bounds

In California: Family Leaves Danger And Fears Behind

In California: Stability Brings Family Reunion

In Korea: Safe Shelter Establishes Permanence

In Romania: Doctors Once Trapped By Poverty Housing

In England: New House Means New Mindset for Teen

In Kentucky:
10-year-old Enjoys a "Room of One's Own"

In Guatemala: Improved Health, Tranquility Make the Difference



Behind the Scenes:
Breaking Ground on
Big Dreams


Oh Lord,
bless this place as sacred, as a place where you dwell. Accept and bless the work that we have now begun, that it may be brought to completion to your glory.

…May this be a sacred place of reconciliation, affirmation, inspiration, and a reminder of
the many who live in impoverished conditions.

…May this be a sacred, blessed space where we witness to a precious message: That you love us all—from north and south, east and west—and that when we become instruments of your love, we can assure that every one of your children one day will have a decent, safe place to sleep at night.”

The morning of Jan. 9 dawned chilly and bright in Americus, Ga. It was a perfect day to mark the beginning of the latest of Millard Fuller’s dreams. Unquestionably, the founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International is a dreamer—and do-er.

Back in 1976, Fuller—along with his wife, Linda, and a small group of friends—sat in a chicken barn and dreamed up the crazy idea of building 100,000 simple, decent houses. In 1983, he decided to walk 700 miles from Americus to Indianapolis to mark HFHI’s seventh anniversary. By 1984, he had asked former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to work with Habitat. In 1992, he challenged Sumter County officials to provide all families in need an opportunity for decent, affordable housing by 2000, which they did.

Indeed, taking “no” for an answer is not Fuller’s style.

“A lot of people put limits on their thinking,” says Fuller. “I’m the son of sharecroppers and the first person in my family to go to college. Who am I? I don’t put limits on my thinking. I think possibility.”

His latest dream? To build a multimedia museum and “town” right in the heart of Americus to educate people about the world’s need for adequate housing. The Global Village & Discovery Center will “bring the world” to southwest Georgia.

Visitors will wind their way through multi-media displays of substandard housing around the world and wander through replicas of Habitat houses from places such as Tanzania, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Guests also will have the opportunity to participate in construction, or to make a donation by buying a brick, a front yard or even by sponsoring an entire house. The attraction will be one stop on The Sam Shortline Train, which will begin taking tourists from Cordele to Plains, Ga., later this year.

Already, thousands of people visit HFHI’s headquarters in Americus each year. They visit the organization’s tour center, tour Habitat communities and walk through a small “international village”—a grouping of sample Habitat houses from several countries.

“Our little international village, that’s what people get the most excited about when they come here,” says Fuller. “I realized we needed something beyond that, something that communicates who we are as an organization. The Global Village & Discovery Center will be something people can walk through—to touch, feel and see what poverty housing is like, and then walk out and see what Habitat houses are like.”

For more information on how you can help or visit, call (800) 422-4828, ext. 2153, or visit www.habitat.org/gvdc/.
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