Habitat for Humanity Expands Into Four More Countries
AMERICUS, Ga., Nov. 25, 2002 -- Habitat for Humanity International announced it will begin building homes in Russia, Cambodia, Panama and the Republic of Ireland, expanding the organization's global mission to end poverty housing to a total of 87 countries. By 2005, Habitat for Humanity International hopes to be building homes with people in need of simple, decent housing in 100 nations.
"I am thrilled that Habitat for Humanity's ministry of God's love in action is being launched in these four countries," said Millard Fuller, Habitat for Humanity International's founder and president. "Each is a very different country, but precious people, all made in God's image, live in each country. And many of them urgently need a decent place to live. It is a blessed opportunity and a privilege to work with dedicated people in Russia, Cambodia, Panama and the Republic of Ireland to build or renovate decent and affordable housing for families in need."
Habitat for Humanity's office in Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buratya, Russia, will start work by renovating apartments with two local families in early 2003. Statistics show that more than 72 percent of Ulan-Ude's population lives in substandard housing. "Habitat does not give away homes," said HFH Ulan-Ude chair Galina Petrovna. "Every family selected will work on renovating their own home. Every family will pay for their own home."
Cambodia continues to recover from the effects of a devastating civil war. The government is relocating people from squatters' camps in the capital city to the suburbs of Phnom Penh and beyond. Habitat for Humanity will help some of these people move into simple, decent, affordable homes in the villages of Steung Meanchy and Anlong Kangan Village.
Panama City, Panama, will be the site of that country's first Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Statistics show that 42 percent of the population in Panama is in need of adequate shelter. Homes will cost approximately $2,000 to $3,000, serving people whose average monthly income is one-tenth that sum.
Habitat for Humanity officials in the Republic of Ireland plan to build homes with 30 to 50 families by 2006 and an additional 50 homes each subsequent year. Habitat for Humanity Northern Ireland already has built 27 homes in Belfast, Northern Ireland, bringing together Protestants and Catholics on work sites. And 30 more homes are currently under construction there. "Habitat for Humanity's inception in the Republic of Ireland represents a long-term commitment, whereby our volunteers, donors and staff will benefit individuals and society through community endeavour," said Patrick Linders, Habitat for Humanity Ireland chair. "We have already been offered some development sites and will look at establishing Irish projects in 2003."
At a meeting of Habitat for Humanity's international board of directors in Dublin, Ireland, Niall Mellon, a Dublin entrepreneur, donated $1 million to Habitat's international work. Patrick Kelly, an Irish property developer, then announced that he was matching Mellon's gift with a donation of nearly 1 million Euros.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity International, log onto our Web site at www.habitat.org . Digital photos may be e-mailed upon request.
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 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.