Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate helps raise awareness about the need for simple, decent and affordable housing
LONAVALA, India (Nov. 3, 2006) – Thousands of volunteers, who descended on a Habitat for Humanity worksite last Monday, dedicated 100 homes they helped build this week with local partner families in a village near Lonavala.
Volunteers from more than 30 countries around the world joined former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, his wife, Rosalynn; celebrities; and dignitaries for the weeklong build.
“These 100 homes represent what can be accomplished when people give their time and resources to help families in need of a hand-up,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. “We are thankful for all the volunteers, sponsors and home partner families who have worked to make this week possible.”
Actor, architect and philanthropist Brad Pitt joined the Carters and volunteers all-day Monday and returned on Wednesday to help build a new home with Habitat partner family Aziz and Sadhiya Sheikh.
Indian film star and youth icon John Abraham, who is already supporting the work of Habitat for Humanity in India, helped with roofing, among other construction activities, on Thursday on the home of Gyaneshwar and Manda Jadhav.
Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh spent two-and-a-half days working with other volunteers from his country on another house.
Also helping to build simple, decent Habitat homes throughout the week were Diana Hayden, former Miss World and Miss India; Pooja Bedi, actress and long-term Habitat for Humanity supporter in India; and U.S. Navy sailors.
A group of volunteers from India and Pakistan joined together to build a home under Seeds of Peace, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young leaders from regions of conflict with skills required to advance reconciliation and co-existence.
A delegation of mayors from across Asia, who were in Mumbai for a conference on housing issues, visited the site to review Habitat for Humanity’s approach to housing those in need.
In addition to leading the 100-house build, the Carters also traveled to two villages during the week where Habitat for Humanity is building homes in partnership with low-income families affected by the 2004 Asian Tsunami. The Carters made a visit to a village near Chennai, on the east coast of India; and to a village near Phuket, Thailand; to see the projects and raise awareness of the ongoing disaster recovery efforts taking place in affected regions of Asia.
This year’s JCWP is in association with Habitat for Humanity India’s indiaBUILDS. The five-year campaign plans to engage 1 million volunteers in helping to provide shelter in partnership with 250,000 people. The campaign also seeks to raise a sustainable fund of US$50 million.
The Carters are Habitat’s most famous volunteers. Each year since 1984, the Carters have given one week of their time to build homes and raise awareness about the need for simple, decent and affordable housing. Previous JCWP events have been held in New York City, Georgia, Michigan, the Philippines, Hungary, South Korea and South Africa. Habitat’s JCWP 2007 will be in Los Angeles.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy Carter Work Project, visit www.habitat.org/jcwp/2006/ .
Major partners also include Citigroup, Dow India, Vedanta Resources, Posco India, Whirlpool Corporation, Cisco, HDFC Ltd., Aditya Birla Group and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Georgia, in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org .