Habitat For Humanity Breaks Ground On Global Village
Americus, Ga., Jan. 9 - Habitat for Humanity International is bringing the world to Americus, Ga., as the nonprofit homebuilder breaks ground on The Global Village & Discovery Center, a multi-media museum and town dedicated to educating people about the worldwide need for adequate housing.
"Today is a milestone day on a long journey to bringing this Global Village & Discovery Center to fruition," said Millard Fuller, Habitat's founder and president. "The Global Village & Discovery Center will give people the opportunity to see the simple, decent houses that Habitat is building in places like Asia, Africa and South America. We want to show the world that people can make a difference—one life, one family and one house at a time."
Once completed, the Global Village & Discovery Center will be an interactive museum where visitors will wind their way through multi-media displays on world housing and then wander through a village to see replicas of houses from places such as such as Tanzania, Kenya and Sri Lanka. Visitors will be able to participate in some construction projects and will have the opportunity to make a donation to The Global Village & Discovery Center by buying a brick, a front yard or even an entire house. The legacy they leave will help to educate others.
"Rosalynn and I have had an opportunity to see what Habitat is doing around the world," said former President Jimmy Carter at the groundbreaking ceremony, as he recalled childhood memories of visiting the site that was once his godfather's place of business. "We have been to Nicaragua, where we have made roof tiles. We have worked in the Philippines, Mexico and South Korea. This year, we will be going to Durban in South Africa...(The Global Village & Discovery Center) will give a better sense of what Habitat is doing - not only here at home but around the world."
Each year, thousands of people visit Habitat for Humanity International's headquarters in Americus. The Global Village & Discovery Center will be one stop on The Sam Shortline Train, which will begin taking tourists from Cordele to Plains later this year. Other stops include the Telephone Museum in Leslie, downtown Plains and President Jimmy Carter's boyhood home in nearby Archery.
Habitat's Global Village & Discovery Center will have a significant local benefit. According to research conducted by The University of Georgia's Small Business Development Center, economic output and employment from the project will mean $1.9 million annually to Sumter County, with another $7.7 million in income and jobs generated through visitor spending each year. By its fifth year of operation, the Habitat attraction should generate more than $1 million in state and local non-education tax revenue, according to the UGA study.
"This is a pretty fertile site," said Americus Mayor Bill McGowan, at the groundbreaking. "Fertile ground is a good omen for this project. Sumter County is like a well-decorated tree. ...The Global Village and Discovery Center will be another ornament on that tree."
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 100,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.