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Former Zambian President Will Join in Global Village & Discovery Center Grand Opening

Former Zambian President Will Join in Global Village & Discovery Center Grand Opening

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AMERICUS, Ga., May 19, 2003–Veteran African statesman and Zambia’s world-esteemed founding father Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda will unveil the African homes at Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village & Discovery Center grand opening ceremony in Americus, Ga., on June 7, 2003.

“What impresses me most about Habitat for Humanity is that we build the people, even before we build the houses. We do not build simply with brick and mortar; we build with human hearts. I cannot think of anything more sustainable than that,” said Kaunda.

Joining Kaunda at the grand opening will be Pastor Mambo Mkhize and his wife, Zinhle, from Durban, South Africa. They worked alongside former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to build their own Habitat for Humanity home during the Jimmy Carter Work Project 2002, and will return the favor by being present June 7 to bless the house representing South Africa in the Global Village display.

“I feel honored to be invited to America because it is the only way I will fulfill the Godliness in me. Because we all know that our God is a contributor and not a consumer. God is very much concerned about the global needs, not only the local needs,” said Mkhize.

An advocate of a strong Christian faith, peace, justice and democracy, Kaunda became the first African president to yield to the people’s wish for multi-party elections. He was defeated and handed over power to the newly elected President Frederick Chiluba without hesitation. The first Zambian head of state will join former President Carter and Habitat for Humanity International founder and president Millard Fuller on a special tour of the Global Village & Discovery Center.

Dr Kaunda, 79, a one-time schoolteacher who along with Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere and South Africa’s Nelson Mandela defined African independence, will later speak about the worldwide need to eliminate poverty housing and the successful efforts of Habitat for Humanity.

Inspired by his experience at the JCWP 2002 in Durban, Kaunda went home determined to instigate a similar attack on poverty housing in Zambia. Based upon the same foundation of community spirit, the Kenneth Kaunda Work Project (KKWP) 2003 was born. This weeklong event, October 6-10, 2003, will highlight the critical work of Habitat for Humanity by constructing decent, affordable houses with 20 families in Lusaka, Zambia. Hundreds of volunteers from diverse backgrounds will come together and join this ambitious effort to eradicate poverty housing in Zambia.

At Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village & Discovery Center opening, visitors will see first-hand the housing transformation that liberates families living in poverty around the world. In the 6-acre attraction, guests travel to the Habitat homes of 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America, and participate in hands-on activities such as brick and tile making. The village eventually will expand to 35 houses, including those from Europe and South America, all with different building styles that demonstrate environmentally and culturally appropriate housing.

Guests and visitors will be treated to lots of international foods, children’s activities, storytelling and tours. The opening ceremony will also feature international music as well as performances by Atlanta based African Dance Connection.

The Global Village & Discovery Center is a valued addition to the rich cultural, historical and heritage attractions of southwest Georgia. It will feature: five guest areas, including a Visitor Welcome Center; an International Marketplace with Theater, Galleries, Marketplace Store and Exploration Center; a “Living in Poverty” housing exhibit; the Global Village of 35 Habitat houses (15 houses to be completed by opening day); the Experience area where families can learn how to make bricks and tiles; detailed descriptions of how Habitat homes are built globally at costs ranging from $2,900 to $4,300, including a hurricane-resistant stone home in Haiti, a Guatemalan house of concrete and steel, a pressed-earth brick home in Kenya and a wood home on stilts in Papua New Guinea; hosts and guides who describe the lives and customs of families around the world and re-create scenes with guests that include tribal welcomes in Ghana or villager meetings in Fiji; opportunities for visitors to plan a Global Village volunteer vacation to one of 80 countries or to purchase and inscribe a brick for the Donor Recognition Plaza.

Within 20 miles of the Global Village are President Jimmy Carter’s home and museum in Plains, the Andersonville National Monument, the National POW Museum and many homes, hotels, churches and other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The SAM Shortline excursion train travels a route from Cordele, Ga., to Archery (President Carter’s boyhood home) with stops at the Georgia Veterans State Park, the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, the Global Village & Discovery Center in Americus and Plains.

Founded by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda, in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. With its affiliates in 3,000-plus communities in 87 nations, Habitat has built more than 125,000 homes with partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. The new Global Village & Discovery Center attraction is funded separately from the home-building mission through designated gifts and contributions.