WASHINGTON, May 22 - Habitat for Humanity International's Board of Directors will showcase the nonprofit organization's global achievements toward eliminating poverty housing at an international event May 23 in Washington, D.C. Featured guests include Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the executive director of UN-HABITAT, and Millard Fuller, HFHI founder and president, as well as foreign ambassadors, members of Congress and international housing dignitaries.
More than 300 distinguished guests, including 30 foreign ambassadors, will gather in Washington, D.C., to celebrate Habitat for Humanity International's successful work overseas. The event, which was organized by Habitat for Humanity's Washington Office, is sponsored by the international law firm Jones Day at its offices near the U.S. Capitol building.
"Habitat for Humanity is at the forefront of the battle to provide homes for the homeless. With over one billion people living without adequate shelter or basic services, there is an urgent need to prioritize the needs of the urban poor," said Tibaijuka. "At UN-HABITAT, we believe that the only way the international community will be able to meet the World Summit Development goal of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, is in partnership with agencies like Habitat for Humanity. Together we can make a difference."
By the end of 2005, Habitat for Humanity expects to have built 200,000 houses in 100 countries, housing one million people in need around the world. Recent international efforts include the successful launch of the first-ever Habitat for Humanity World Leaders Build, in which heads of state and government worked on Habitat construction sites alongside thousands of volunteers, building 1,000 houses in 41 countries. This year's Jimmy Carter Work Project will be the largest in the history of the annual work project as volunteers build a total of 1000 houses in 18 countries across the African continent. At the main build site in Durban, South Africa, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and volunteers will build 100 houses June 3-7.
"Habitat for Humanity believes every human being should have, as a minimum, a simple, decent place to live," said Fuller. "We work diligently to make shelter a matter of conscience and action. As we build, we also strive to be a beacon of hope, activated faith and reconciliation. Habitat responds to natural and man-made disasters to bring hope, and we work equally hard in areas where people quietly suffer from lack of adequate housing even though there has been no disaster."
Regional fact sheets on HFHI's work in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America are available upon request. Electronic images related to this release are available for download. For more information about Habitat for Humanity International and its work in 83 countries, log on to http://www.habitat.org .
UN-HABITAT is the lead agency within the United Nations system for coordinating activities in the field of human settlements. It is the focal point for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda - the global plan of action adopted by the international community at the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 1996. Its activities contribute to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development within the context and challenges of a rapidly urbanizing world.
Jones Day is an international law firm with 26 locations in centers of business and finance throughout the world. With more than 1,600 lawyers, it ranks among the world's largest law firms.
Habitat for Humanity International's Washington Office was formed in 1992 to represent the organization - with its many public, private and nonprofit partners - by supporting HFHI's national and international programs in the nation's capital.
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 83 nations have built and sold more than 120,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.