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Tanzania First Lady, Women Crew to Build Habitat House

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania - July 9,1999 - Mama Makapa, first lady of Tanzania, will host First Ladies Build Tanzania July 14-23. She will work on a Habitat for Humanity house with a women construction crew that includes the wives of the vice president and prime minister of Tanzania and the first lady of the Tanzanian providence of Zanzibar.

First Ladies Build is a program of Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build department. In the United States, most of the state governors’ wives are swinging hammers to build houses with families in need. The Tanzania build launches the program’s first venture outside of the United States.

“It’s exciting for us to see Tanzania take up the challenge of involving women in building houses with those in need,” said Fiona Eastwood, manager of the Women Build department. “We cannot solve the problem of inadequate housing in any country by simply talking about it. In leading the way for this build, Tanzania’s first lady is clearly demonstrating her determination to positively affect lives – one family at a time.”

Habitat for Humanity International formed the Women Build department to promote women’s involvement in building homes with people in need. The family purchasing the home will contribute “sweat equity” by working side by side with Mama Makapa’s women construction crew. The family will then purchase the house with a no-profit, no-interest mortgage.

The average selling price for a Habitat for Humanity home in Tanzania is US $1,100.

A Global Village team of 15 American women will travel to Tanzania to participate in the build. Habitat’s Global Village program introduces volunteers to the hands-on, grass-roots house-building work of Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the world.

First Ladies Build is the premier program of Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build department. Since 1991, women crews have built more than 200 Habitat for Humanity homes. First Ladies Build empowers women and expands the capacity of Habitat for Humanity to make homeownership a reality for families in need.

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit worldwide, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity brings together people with resources and people in need to build simple, decent, affordable houses. The homes are sold to those in need at no profit, through no-interest loans. Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda, Habitat for Humanity has built more than 75,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 375,000 people worldwide. It has affiliates in every state of the United States and in 63 other countries around the world.