Habitat for Humanity To Build 82 Homes In Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand To Mark The King Of Thailand’s 82nd Birthday

Habitat for Humanity’s 26th Annual Carter Work Project to Build Homes to Honor King Bhumibol in November 2009

Next stop – Chiang Mai: Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn will join thousands of volunteers to build for families in need along the Mekong River in 2009.

BANGKOK, 24th December 2008: Habitat for Humanity plans to build 82 homes for Thai families in need as a present for the King of Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in honor of his 82nd birthday in 2009.

The 82 homes, to be built in Chiang Mai, will be the centerpiece of the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

“We plan to honor His Majesty with this important project which will focus on how we work with families to transform their lives and those of their children for themselves and for their country,” said Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, a member of Habitat’s international board of directors and vice chancellor of St. John’s University in Bangkok.

Every year since 1984, former US president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn have donated one week of their time – and their building skills – to Habitat.

The Carters will join thousands of volunteers in building houses and bringing attention to the need for decent and affordable housing to countries along the Mekong River. The event will also launch a five-year Habitat for Humanity campaign to assist families across this part of Southeast Asia.

The site in Muang Lane sub-district of Chiang Mai will be the main location for the 2009 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.

The week-long 2009 building project, which runs from 15th-20th November, will secure homes in partnership with more than 200 families, and will initiate projects to provide tens of thousands of more homes.

Several Thai and international companies have already indicated their support for the project. Early sponsors are set to include Thai-based G Steel Public Co. Ltd, a leading Southeast Asian steel maker. Others indicating their support include US-based Delta Airlines, Citigroup Inc., The Dow Chemical Co. and Cisco Systems Inc., along with Nissan Motor Co. of Japan.

During the week, Habitat volunteers from around the world will also be building in four other countries which border the Mekong River. Builds will take place in rural communities in Yunnan, southwestern China; outside Vientiane, capital of Laos; in slum areas of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh; and in a fishing village in northern Vietnam.

The Mekong region – defined to include Vietnam, Yunnan province in China, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia – has seen significant economic growth in the past 20 years. Yet it is still home to some of the poorest families in Asia. Nearly one third of the population of an estimated 250 million lives in poverty, many living on less than the equivalent of one US dollar a day.

The 2009 Carter Work Project will mark the fourth time the former US president and his wife have built with Habitat for Humanity in Asia. Previous Carter Work Projects were held in India in 2006, in South Korea in 2001 and in The Philippines in 1999.