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Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata helps build homes and awareness with Habitat for Humanity during the annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project

Chiang Mai, Thailand (Nov. 16, 2009)―Hidetoshi Nakata, one of the most famous soccer stars of his generation, joined Habitat for Humanity’s annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Chiang Mai.




Japanese soccer star Hidetoshi Nakata (in front in sunglasses) works on a Habitat home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with Singapore radio personality Caroline Jane Smith. Habitat for Humanity/Andy Nelson.

Nakata worked alongside volunteers to help build and repair homes in partnership with low-income families in need of decent housing. Habitat’s Carter Work Project is an intensive week-long build that takes place in a different city around the world each year. Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are leading the annual Habitat for Humanity build in five Asian countries, Nov. 15-20.

Nakata, who is building in Thailand, joins nearly 3,000 volunteers from around the world. The volunteers will build and repair 166 homes in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia and Laos – all countries along the Mekong River.

Nakata began his professional career in 1995 and went on to win the Asian Football Confederation Player of the Year award in 1997 and 1998, the Scudetto with A.S. Roma in 2001, played for Japan in three FIFA World Cup tournaments (1998, 2002 and 2006) and played in the Olympics twice (1996 and 2000). Nakata announced his retirement at age 29 on July 3, 2006 after a ten-year career.

Habitat’s Carter Work Project is an annual, internationally-recognized week of building that brings attention to the need for simple, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families. President and Mrs. Carter have faithfully given one week of their time each year since 1984 to help build Habitat homes and raise awareness about the need for simple, decent housing. The Carter Work Project has been held in India, Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, South Africa, Hungary and throughout the United States.

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 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit