By Shana Kongmun & Staff reporters
Chiang Mai’s unusual heat did not slow down the hundreds of Habitat
for Humanity volunteers who worked alongside 82 year old former President
Jimmy Carter and his wife to build 82 homes for Thai families in Ban Nong
Kon Kru of San Sai district in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who
celebrates his 82nd birthday next month. President Carter and the volunteers
were joined by several regional celebrities, including Chinese movie star
Jet Li, Japanese football legend Hidetoshi Nakata and Thai singer and actor
Rattapoom “Film” Tokongsub.
President Carter joins volunteers building the walls on one of the new 82
houses build in San Sai District by Habitat for Humanity.
Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Carter and his wife,
Rosalynn, are among 3,000 volunteers from 25 countries working with Habitat
for Humanity from Novmeber 16 to 20 to help build and repair 166 homes along
the Mekong River in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Cambodia and Laos.
The homes in Cambodia are being built for families currently living in a
garbage dump, the ones in Vietnam are for fishermen who now live on their
boats, and the project in China involves construction of an apartment
building in a part of Sichuan province devastated by a 2008 earthquake.
Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, a member of Habitat’s international board of
directors and chairman of Habitat for Humanity Thailand, joins President
Carter and Richard Hathaway, vice president for Habitat for Humanity
International’s Asia-Pacific region in discussing the needs of families for
affordable, safe and decent housing in the region.
Habitat for Humanity’s Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Reckford said the
ecumenical Christian non-profit organization plans to construct houses for
50,000 families in the Mekong region over the next five years.
“In an area of the world where many people live in deplorable conditions, we
have a chance to help families improve their housing,” said former President
Carter. “Over the years I have seen the lasting impact Habitat for Humanity
volunteers can have, and I have been personally touched by the work they are
doing around the world.”
football superstar Hidetoshi Nakata lends Habitat for Humanity volunteers a
hand building houses in Ban Nong Kon Kru, Chiang Mai.
Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai a member of Habitat’s international
board of directors and chairman of Habitat for Humanity Thailand said “With
the help of President and Mrs. Carter and the thousands of devoted Habitat
volunteers, the Carter Work Project will result not only in better housing
for families who urgently need it in the Mekong region, but in much-needed
attention to the housing plight of so many families in this part of the
“Film” Tokongsub, actor, singer and Goodwill Ambassador for Habitat for
Humanity Thailand and a volunteer build a house for one of the needy
families in Chiang Mai.
“We are thankful to President and Mrs. Carter and the thousands of
volunteers who will give programs in this area a major boost, allowing
Habitat to serve even more families in need of decent shelter” said Richard
Hathaway, vice president for Habitat for Humanity International’s
The program promotes a sense of responsibility, with the new homeowners not
only taking part in the building process but also repaying the cost of the
home over a 10-15 year period. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat says it
has built and rehabilitated more than 300,000 homes worldwide, providing
simple shelter for 1.5 million people.
Khan Prachuabmoh, 3rd right, Managing Director
of the Government Housing Bank, with Miss Thailand 2009 Ornwipa
Kanoknatheesawas, 3rd left, and other Government Housing Bank executives,
build a house at the Habitat for Humanity construction site in San Sai
Hundreds of volunteers in Ban Nong Kon Kru join
together with local residents
to build housing in the Habitat for Humanity project from November 16 to 20.