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Habitat’s 150,000th House Worldwide Built in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Romania Celebrates 150,000th Habitat for Humanity Home Built Worldwide

BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 21, 2003 – After years of living in a damp and crumbling shack of mud and straw, Benti Bako’s dream of a simple, decent home for his wife and five children came true today. He received the keys to his own home, one that he helped to build and can afford on his small income as a delivery truck driver. The dedication celebration in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca was a memorable day for the Bako family and an historic moment for Habitat for Humanity. It was the150,000th Habitat for Humanity home built worldwide and the 100th Habitat house in Romania.

“The dedication of the Bako’s house is a milestone in Habitat’s fight to eliminate poverty housing worldwide,” explained Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. “But we must not pause too long to celebrate. We must remain focused on the task of providing decent housing for every needy family around the world.”

Fuller and his wife Linda participated in the dedication of the Bako’s home along with a corporate volunteer team from Great Britain who helped to build the house. The Fullers will also be speaking to local students and youth leaders as part of Habitat for Humanity’s program to encourage youth volunteerism in the Cluj-Napoca area. In addition to hosting meetings with business, church and civic leaders, Habitat for Humanity will launch the Romanian version of Mr. Fuller’s book “Bokotola” on his experience working with poverty housing issues in Africa nearly 30 years ago.

Habitat for Humanity has active community groups in the Romanian communities of Cluj-Napoca, Pitesti, Beius and Rădăuţi. Construction work in these communities varies from building simple single-family homes to renovating aging Soviet-style apartment blocks. Expansion to two new communities in Romania is expected in the coming months.

In addition to visiting Cluj-Napoca, the Fullers will visit Budapest, Hungary, Yerevan, Armenia and Warsaw, Poland. For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s activities worldwide, visit www.habitat.org. To find out more about volunteering or donating to Habitat’s work in Romania, visit http://www.habitat.ro/.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian, non-profit housing organization that has helped more than 650,000 people of all races, religions and backgrounds to have a simple, decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity has built or renovated 150,000 homes throughout the world, becoming a global leader in addressing poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity is active in 89 countries worldwide, including 18 in Europe and Central Asia.

For Further Information Contact: Leanne McElroy of Habitat for Humanity Europe/ Central Asia at 011-36-1-411-2172 or email to: lmcelroy@habitateurope.org.hu