Plans underway for October 2010 Carter Work Project in the United States to kick off on World Habitat Day
CHIANG MAI, Thailand (Nov. 20, 2009) – Nearly 3,000 Habitat for Humanity volunteers dedicated 166 homes in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Laos and Cambodia. The houses were built or repaired as part of Habitat’s annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, where the former U.S. president and first lady helped raise awareness about the need for affordable housing and built homes in partnership with low-income earners.
Mohammad Mohammaddi (in foreground with scarf) and Eric Hensel, work together on a roof panel during the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Both men are from the United Arab Emirates. Habitat for Humanity/Andy Nelson.
“We are grateful to the Carters and the thousands of volunteers who’ve worked to make simple, decent and affordable housing possible,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International. “Their work this week will help Habitat increase its efforts in this region to serve even more families in need of improved housing conditions.”
Celebrity volunteers included global movie action star Jet Li, who signed an agreement with Habitat for Humanity to help build and improve homes in China in 2010–2011.
Also seen working on the Thai site were Japanese football player Hidetoshi Nakata; Bollywood superstar and Habitat for Humanity India supporter John Abraham and actor R. “Maddy” Madhavan and Pooja Bedi, from India; actress and broadcaster Jacqueline Fernandez, from Sri Lanka; South Korean TV actor Lee Seo-Jin; and Habitat for Humanity Thailand’s goodwill ambassador, singer and actor Rattapoom “Film” Tokongsub.
In Chengdu, China, Hong Kong actor and director Daniel Wu was one of several high-profile volunteers to build.
“I don’t want the house to be completed yet, because I want everybody to stay longer,” said new homeowner Kanchit Suthimetheesakul of her experience building a Habitat house alongside volunteers in Thailand this week. “When it is done, this will be everybody’s house, not just ours. We are all friends now.”
In 2010, the Carter Work Project will move back to the United States.
“I also am pleased to announce that next year Habitat’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project will be held in the United States, October 3–8, to coincide with World Habitat Day,” said Reckford.
World Habitat Day occurs on the first Monday in October each year as a time to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right of adequate shelter for all people.
The day was designated by the United Nations and is annually observed by Habitat for Humanity organizations around the world.
Habitat’s Carter Work Project is an annual, internationally-recognized week of building that brings attention to the need for simple, decent and affordable housing in partnership with low-income families. President and Mrs. Carter have faithfully given one week of their time each year since 1984 to help build Habitat homes and raise awareness about the need for simple, decent housing. The Carter Work Project has been held in India, Korea, The Philippines, Mexico, South Africa, Hungary, Thailand, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Laos and throughout the United States.
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 1976, Habitat has built and rehabilitated more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org  and for details about Habitat’s work in Asia, please visit www.habitat.org/ap .