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t the invitation of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 28 heads of state and heads of government from 26 nations built with Habitat and supported construction in 43 countries during the first World Leaders Build Aug 5-11, 2001. The lead event featured President Carter and Korean President Kim Dae-jung building together with Korean partner families. The worldwide effort drew attention to the worldwide problems of poverty housing and resulted in 1,175 houses for people in need of shelter.

  Winnipeg, Canada - House leader Brent Gillon, left, supervises a Habitat volunteer on the circular saw. Gillon directs the Habitat Community Fix-up Project, a pilot program that does repair projects in communities where Habitat builds. more
Canada More than 500 Habitat for Humanity volunteers from across Canada and the United States gathered July 6-13, 2001, to kick off the World Leaders Build and to build homes with 10 families as part of Habitat Canada's eighth annual Ed Schreyer Work Project. Schreyer, former Governor General of Canada, and his wife, Lily, joined Premier of Manitoba Gary Doer as they worked on a Habitat house with partner homeowners George and Marlene Wood.

United States President George W. Bush hammered nails alongside Habitat for Humanity to build a home with a Texas family in need of decent housing. He joined heads of state and government around the globe participating in Habitat for Humanity International's World Leaders Build week-long event.

Republic of Korea Together with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, more than 9,000 volunteers from around the world helped 120 families build simple, decent houses. Seventy-two of the houses were built at the main site, Asan, and the rest were constructed in five other communities.

The Philippines President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines visited the main site of the Philippines World Leaders Build at Pinugay, Rizal, on Monday, Aug. 6. The president unveiled a wall honoring the donors to the build and stayed for a ceremonial brick laying and tour of the site. For more information see Habitat for Humanity Philippines

South Africa President Thabo Mbeki joined other dignitaries and volunteers building a Habitat house on Aug. 10. "We are happy and always ready to work in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and many of its volunteers, including Mr. Jimmy Carter, former president of the United States of America," said President Mbeki to the volunteers and special guests who gathered at the build site. more

Botswana "The national vision is very clear. By 2016 all Batswana should be decently houses. The government cannot do it alone. Batswana must also do their part. Therefore, the partnership between government, private sector and organizations like Habitat for Humanity is of the utmost importance in the provision of housing." -- Jacob Nkate, Minister of Land, Housing and Environment more

Tanzania Tanzania Habitat for Humanity Tanzania hosted His Excellency, President Benjamin William Mkapa, the First Lady of Tanzania, Mama Anna Mkapa and host of other dignitaries at build sites in the Chamwino and Chidachi communities the week of August 5-11, 2001. President Mkapa placed the cornerstone brick for the first house during the opening ceremonies on Monday, Aug. 6. more

Shelter forum held at Philippines WLB site in Escalante City

New Zealand New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark participated in Habitat for Humanity New Zealand's World Leaders Build event, a two-house build held in Far North, just outside Kaitaia. For more information, see HFH New Zealand .

Australia Dr. Peter Hollingworth, governor general of Australia, worked Sunday, Aug. 5, 2001, on one of five houses being built in Bayswater, Victoria, for Habitat for Humanity's World Leaders Build. more

Australia Prime Minister John Howard also signaled his support when he responded to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's personal invitation to participate in the World Leaders Build, writing, "I welcome Habitat for Humanity's initiative to improve the standard of housing for impoverished families." For more information, see Habitat for Humanity Australia's Web site, HFH Australia .

Thailand A group of volunteers from Cargill (Siam) arrived in Chiang Mai on Thursday, Aug. 9, to participate in Thailand's World Leaders Build. About 35 Cargill (Siam) employees built three Habitat houses with 21 volunteers from the U.S. Cargill is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Thailand to provide both financial and volunteer support for Habitat's work in Chiang Mai. more

Costa Rica Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica built four houses, sponsored by Citibank, in Cartago August 5-11, with help from leaders of local governments, churches, youth groups and a Global Village team from the United States. For more information see HFH Costa Rica .

Colombia President Astrano joins World Leaders Build in Colombia
His Excellency Dr. Andres Pastrana Arango, president of the Republic of Colombia, presented Bibles and house keys to two families on Wednesday, Aug. 8, in a simple and symbolic ceremony in Quimbaya. The president participated in the construction of a third house, showing his support for the Habitat movement in Colombia. More than 40 volunteers from the Rotary Club of Quimbaya worked with the partner families for the World Leaders Build. Habitat for Humanity Colombia has built more than 360 houses to date.
Germany HFH Deutschland organized a two-week renovation project in Berlin to celebrate Habitat's World Leaders Build and the United Nations International Year of Volunteers. German Federal Minister Dr. Christine Bergmann was the patron of the event.

WLB events held in Cluj, Beius
Romania's World Leaders Build events were highlighted by the presence of government leaders and a group of European and American teenagers who were building a house in the city of Cluj-Napoca as part of the Summer Youth Build (see related story).

Vasile Soporan, prefect for Cluj County, spent Tuesday, Aug. 7, on the build site, where he worked alongside the future homeowners, Mihai and Viorica Pop and the 15 Summer Youth Build participants, who ranged in age from 16 to 19. A press conference held that day attracted local and national newspaper, television and radio reporters, according to Habitat for Humanity International staff at the site.

In Beius, location of Romania's first Habitat affiliate, a three-house build and special events are also taking place this week.

"Bihor County Vice Prefect Alexandru Retegan will visit Beius HFH on Friday, Aug. 10,'" said Adrian Ciorna, director of HFHI's New Affiliate and Resource Development office in Romania. 'Gabor Berenyi, Eastern Europe sales manager for the Dow Chemical Company, will dedicate a Dow-sponsored house and two others built during the WLB on Friday at 3 p.m."

Domy Nadziei
Gliwice, Poland
The World Leaders Build in Poland got an excellent start on Monday, Aug.6, when Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek came to the building site of Domy Nadziei (Homes of Hope) Habitat for Humanity in Gliwice. more

  Poland's Prime Minister, Mr. Jerzy Buzek, joining homeowners from Gliwice's Domy Nadziei affiliate...

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