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Archbishop Desmond Tutu joins Habitat for Humanity to help eradicate poverty housing in South Africa

Volunteers from around the world gather outside Cape Town for weeklong event in the archbishop’s name

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, (May 28, 2007) — This week, more than 60 volunteers from the United States, Great Britain and South Africa gather in Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s name to build 12 houses in seven days and change the lives of 12 South African families forever.

Supported by Archbishop Tutu, a patron of Habitat for Humanity South Africa since 2002, the project will join volunteer groups with partner families to build homes in the Mfuleni township, nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers) outside Cape Town.

The need for decent housing in South Africa is great, with nearly 10 million South Africans living in poverty housing — almost one out of every five people. The build kicks off on Sunday, May 27, with an opening ceremony in which volunteers and families involved in the build will meet and watch a pre-recorded message of support from Archbishop Tutu. Building work will start on Monday, May 28. Archbishop Tutu plans to visit the site on Wednesday, May 30, to meet with local families and volunteers.

“We are blessed and delighted to have Archbishop Tutu’s support for our work in South Africa and around the world to end poverty housing,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International.

As the cement walls go up, other walls come crashing down — walls between language, gender, color and culture. Most importantly, at the end of the seven days, 12 families can face the cape winter with the certainty that leaking roofs and cold winds through unstable shacks are a thing of the past.

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, Georgia, USA, in 1976, Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses in nearly 100 countries providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.

Habitat for Humanity South Africa
Habitat for Humanity South Africa is a nonprofit Christian organization that works in partnership with communities to help families living in poverty housing build and own simple, decent and affordable houses. Since 1996, the organization has built close to 1,800 houses in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng/North West provinces, providing shelter for 8,000 people across the country and bringing together people across racial, economic, cultural and social boundaries.