Habitat for Humanity International Opens 'Global Village' Tourist Attraction in Americus, Ga.
Visitors See the World in New Light
AMERICUS, Ga., July 19, 2003--In dilapidated poverty shacks of many African countries, the monsters in the closet are real scorpions and snakes that threaten children as they sleep. In the thousands of Habitat for Humanity homes built to replace such shacks, solid walls, leak-free roofs and no-interest mortgages offer a new beginning for African families living in poverty who work side-by-side with Habitat volunteers to realize their dream of stable shelter.
At Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village & Discovery Center, which opened June 7 in Americus, Ga., visitors can see first-hand the housing transformation that liberates families living in poverty around the world. In the 6-acre attraction, guests travel to the Habitat homes of 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Central America and participate in hands-on activities such as brick and tile making. The village eventually will expand to 35 houses, including those from poor European and South American regions, all with different building styles that demonstrate environmentally and culturally appropriate housing.
Just 10 miles from the Plains, Ga., home of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a long-time Habitat for Humanity volunteer, the Americus attraction features:
• Five guest areas, including a Visitor Welcome Center; an International Marketplace with Theater, Galleries, Marketplace Store and Exploration Center; a “Living in Poverty” housing exhibit; the Global Village of 35 Habitat houses (15 houses to be completed by opening day); the Experience area where families can learn how to make bricks and tiles.
• Detailed descriptions of how Habitat homes are built globally at costs ranging from $2,900 to $4,300, including a hurricane-resistant stone home in Haiti, a Guatemalan house of concrete and steel, a pressed-earth brick home in Kenya and a wood home on stilts in Papua, New Guinea.
• Discovery Guides who describe the lives and customs of families around the world and re-create scenes with guests that include tribal welcomes in Ghana or villager meetings in Fiji.
• Opportunities for visitors to plan a Global Village volunteer vacation to one of 80 countries or to purchase and inscribe a brick for the Donor Recognition Plaza.
The Global Village & Discovery Center is a valued addition to the rich cultural, historical and heritage attractions of southwest Georgia. Within 20 miles of the Global Village are President Jimmy Carter’s home and museum in Plains, the Andersonville National Monument, the National POW Museum and many homes, hotels, churches and other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The SAM Shortline excursion train travels a route from Cordele, Ga. to Archery (President Carter’s boyhood home) with stops at the Georgia Veterans State Park, the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, the Global Village & Discovery Center in Americus and Plains.
Founded by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda, in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. With its affiliates in 3,000-plus communities in 89 nations, Habitat has built more than 150,000 homes with partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. The new Global Village & Discovery Center attraction is funded separately from the home-building mission through designated gifts and contributions.
The Global Village & Discovery Center at 601 W. Church St. is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Village is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is by suggested donation of $5 for adults, $3 for students 6 and older and $4 for seniors. Special arrangements are available for groups and annual memberships. No donation is suggested for children under age 6. For more information, call 229-924-6935 or visit www.habitat.org .