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Jimmy Carter Work Project 1999: The Philippines

Habitat for Humanity International volunteers to build 250 homes in a week in the Philippines, March 21-27, 1999

February 11, 1999 - Inspired by the dream of a world without poverty housing, volunteers from around the world will converge on the Philippines in March 1999 for Habitat for Humanity International’s annual Jimmy Carter Work Project.

Led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Habitat President and Founder Millard Fuller and the dedicated staff of Habitat for Humanity Philippines, workers will build 250 houses in seven days, March 21-27, 1999.

“We want to make a difference in a nation where we see wealth and poverty, glittering high-rises and scrap-metal shacks, great wealth across the street from people who are unable to achieve their God-given potential,” Fuller said.

The 1999 Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP) will be the first “blitz build” ever in Asia and Habitat for Humanity’s largest project to date. About 6,000 Habitat volunteers will build 250 homes in five places: Metro Manila, Bacolod City, Dumaguete City, Tagbilaran City and General Santos City.

With an average annual income of US$400-700, millions of hard-working people in the Philippines find it difficult to afford even a modest place to live. The people of Habitat for Humanity Philippines know the challenges first-hand, having built almost 2,000 houses since beginning work in the Philippines 11 years ago.

The houses built during the Jimmy Carter Work Project will be of a simple Filipino design, about 25 square meters in size, built of concrete block with metal roofs.

The JCWP is an annual, internationally recognized event of Habitat for Humanity International in which the former U.S. president and his wife Rosalynn join Habitat volunteers to build simple, decent and affordable houses in partnership with people in need. Since 1984, almost 500 families in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe have acquired Habitat houses through Jimmy Carter Work Projects.

“This is the 16th year that Rosalynn and I have built houses with other Habitat for Humanity volunteers,” President Carter said. “There is no greater satisfaction than helping a family build a home they’ll be able to call their own for the first time in their lives.”

Mrs. Carter said, “We hope to show people in Southeast Asia that it is possible to build affordable homes for those in need. We hope our work will inspire many more Habitat projects in this region.”

Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide. Habitat 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 70,000 houses, providing shelter for more than 350,000 people worldwide. It has affiliates in every state of the United States and in 60 other countries around the world.