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Habitat for Humanity kicks off its largest blitz build in Europe

AMERICUS, Ga. (Aug. 31, 2007) – Habitat for Humanity Romania will host the homebuilding organization’s largest volunteer building event in Europe, the “Euro 2007 Habitat Build,” September 3-7. During the build, 27 houses – one for each nation of the European Union – will be constructed in a record five days.

The city of Radauti, located in northern Romania, will welcome up to 650 volunteers from Romania, other parts of Europe and abroad to build houses in partnership with 27 Romanian families in need of safe, decent and affordable homes. Ambassadors, politicians, corporate leaders and European Union representatives will work side-by-side with volunteers and homeowners in doing their part to realize the dreams of the 27 families currently living in poverty housing. The goal of this Europe-wide event, immediately following Romania’s and Bulgaria’s entrance to the European Union, is to raise awareness among the public, politicians and diplomats of Europe and abroad to bring the effects of poverty housing to society’s attention.

On Jan. 1, 2007, Romania celebrated its accession to the European Union, joining 26 other member states. The “Euro 2007 Habitat Build” was launched on May 9 (the Day of Europe) as well to highlight the need for decent housing conditions. “We would like everyone to help us end poverty housing here in Romania, across Europe and worldwide,” said Adrian Ciorna, national director of Habitat for Humanity Romania.

“I particularly appreciate this initiative and I consider that bringing volunteers from all over the world to work together to the benefit of the families in need is a beautiful example of solidarity, a European value that the Romanians fully share,” said Ambassador Donato Chiarini, head of the European Commission Representation in Romania. Mr. Laszlo Borbely, minister of Development, Public Works and Housing, said, “The issue of poor housing is a reality and we have to set up partnerships between all the actors involved, in order to solve it. We need good coordination and collaboration to rehabilitate degraded areas through integrated projects for urban development.”

Corporate partners of “Euro 2007 Habitat Build” are Vodafone and Lafarge. Other sponsors – including Whirlpool, McDonald’s, Citi Group, MoneyGram, Consolis, Coca Cola, Knauf, Isover, Austrotherm, BRD Groupe Societe Generale, Moeller and Akzo Nobel – donated money and materials and will send volunteers to build the 27 homes.

In Romania, Habitat for Humanity has partnered with more than 650 families in need of simple, decent and affordable houses. Habitat for Humanity Romania works in Beiuş, Cluj, Piteşti, Rădăuţi, Comăneşti, Craiova and Cumpăna (Constanţa County). Habitat’s partner families work on their own houses together with Romanian and foreign volunteers. Habitat has helped more than 300 families in Bacău, Argeş and Dolj to renovate their houses damaged by floods in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

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 1976, Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.