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U.S. Navy sends volunteers to help build homes during Habitat for Humanity’s 23rd annual ‘Jimmy Carter Work Project’

LONAVALA, India (Nov. 2, 2006) – More than 100 volunteers from the U.S. Navy are helping to build Habitat for Humanity homes during the organization’s annual ‘Jimmy Carter Work Project’ being held this week.

The sailors joined 2,000 volunteers from around the world in building 100 homes with the former first family. The project is an annual Habitat for Humanity build led by former US President and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

“I didn’t expect such a large build to be going on when I signed up to volunteer,” said one of the participants, Petty Officer First Class Duane Solomon.

The sailors signed up to build during a Mumbai port visit. During previous visits to India, the US Navy has donated medical supplies, sewing machines and books to The Trust of Nanu Nagle School for the Poor and refurbished the Bal Bhavan Children’s Center auditorium in Goa, India.

“We are thrilled that these sailors would take time out of their well-earned rest to support Habitat for Humanity in our quest to eliminate the scourge of substandard housing,” said Steve Weir, Habitat for Humanity Vice President for the Asia-Pacific region.

The Navy’s participation continues the U.S. Government’s involvement in Habitat for Humanity’s work in the region. Earlier this year, 35 U.S. Consulate volunteers – both Indian and American staff, led by Consul General Michael Owen and his wife, Annerieke, spent four Saturdays working on a 100-house project in the flood-devastated village of Kalyan. Mrs. Owen is also spending this entire week as a Habitat volunteer in Lonavala.

Carter served as a naval officer for seven years and also graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. The Carters are Habitat’s most famous volunteers. Each year since 1984, the Carters have given one week of their time to build homes and raise awareness about the need for simple, decent and affordable housing. Previous JCWP events have been held in New York City, Georgia, Michigan, the Philippines, Hungary, South Korea and South Africa. Habitat’s JCWP 2007 will be in Los Angeles, California.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project, visit www.habitat.org/jcwp/2006/.

Major partners include Citigroup, Dow India, Vedanta Resources, Posco India, Whirlpool Corporation, Cisco, HDFC Ltd., Aditya Birla Group and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.