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North Belfast Communities Join for Cross-Community Initiative

AMERICUS, GA. Nov. 1, 2002- Habitat for Humanity will launch the second phase of a major cross-community initiative in North Belfast on November 9.



Clergy of all denominations will join families, politicians and local community workers to show their support for the Habitat for Humanity project as Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International, breaks ground at the Wolfhill estate in Ligoniel.

“Given the current climate of political uncertainty in Northern Ireland I am extremely encouraged that people at grass-roots level are making a real effort to overcome their differences and work together,” said Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland executive director, Peter Farquharson. “The fact that we will have our founder here breaking the first ground makes the event even more significant.” Work began on a housing project in Ballysillan in October and by building in these two North Belfast communities simultaneously, volunteers and families can cross over and work on each project. The families selected for home ownership are required to give 500 hours of their time in building their own house with the help of volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland already has completed two projects in Belfast building 27 homes with families in need. Work also is under way on a 14-house development in Downpatrick’s Model Farm Estate.

Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland (HFHNI) is a cross-community, self-build housing organization which helps low-income families build and purchase their own homes at a price they can afford. The work is focused on areas of housing blight that have resulted from 30 years of community conflict. Families in need build their own homes with the help of volunteers. The self-build program seeks to address the effects of violence and segregation by bringing volunteers from both traditions to help build in both Catholic and Protestant communities.

We believe the poverty that we face in Northern Ireland is not just physical, but spiritual-the need for reconciliation. Our work is more than building houses; it is building community and building hope. Critical to the organization’s success is HFH NI’s ability to bring people together from all socio-economic backgrounds and across the sectarian divide in a spirit of community to help people in need. HFHNI seeks to be a catalyst for reconciliation by breaking down the walls of separation, restoring and revitalizing communities most at risk. It does this through partnerships with community groups, businesses and churches of all denominations. As a result, a foundation is being laid for future cross-community development.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 83 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, logon to our Web site at