Americus, Ga. - August 6, 2001 - Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) along with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will join Habitat for Humanity Korea, known in Korean as Sarangeh Jipitgi (meaning "building houses of love"), to build homes with thousands of volunteers in partnership with families in need.
"Rosalynn and I are proud to be part of the volunteer work force that works side by side with Habitat partner families who are building their own homes," said President Carter, Habitat for Humanity's best-known volunteer. "This year we are building houses in six locations in South Korea, helping 120 families realize their dreams of home ownership."
More than 9,000 volunteers from around the world will help build 72 homes in Asan, and 48 homes at the five other sites, Daegu/Gyeongsan, Gunsan, Jinju, Paju and Taebaek. In Asan the community in which Habitat is building is called the Village of Reconciliation, appropriately named for the way Habitat brings so many people from different backgrounds and cultures together to build for a common good.
In recent years, rapid economic developments in Korea left many families behind, creating a situation where families were living with as many as 10 people per apartment and unable to provide for basic necessities. More than 400,000 Koreans lived in residences without hot water and more than three million households had only outdoor traditional hole-in-the-ground toilets.
President and Mrs. Carter will work toward resolving Korea's housing crisis by swinging hammers and raising walls in a new four-unit building in Asan. While President Carter is working in Korea, leaders from other countries will simultaneously be building to demonstrate that the elimination of substandard housing is a matter of conscience and action among all nations, through the construction of safe, decent, affordable homes.
"The houses being built at this year's JCWP and the World Leaders Build will house families who are truly in need," said Millard Fuller, founder and president of Habitat for Humanity International. "I am so thrilled to know that our work in Korea will bring us a step closer to meeting our goal to build another 100,000 homes by 2005."
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary year, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 2,000 communities in 76 nations have built and sold more than 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.