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Habitat World

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New Zealand ]

When children and teenagers built with LEGO blocks for Habitat New Zealand, the result was amazing creativity — and budding advocates for decent housing.

This fall, the first-ever Habitat for Humanity Build Challenge asked participants to build a house that represented a place they would like to live. The competition, which had both online and onsite categories, attracted 1,060 entries, with winners determined by the highest number of votes cast online.

Those who built at home uploaded photos and descriptions of their homes to www.buildchallenge.org. Those who took part in event builds had an hour to complete their construction. Event builds took place in churches, schools, universities, community centers, shopping malls, and even kids’ clubs.

“I believe that if it becomes a regular annual event, kids will be looking forward to it,” says Adrian Whale, general manager of Habitat New Zealand’s Northland affiliate. “And eventually, when they want to change the world, they are likely to choose Habitat as the vehicle to do it.”