Each year, since 1984, former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, give a week of their time to help Habitat for Humanity improve and build homes. The Carter Work Project helps raise awareness of the critical need for simple, decent and affordable housing. The week-long event attracts volunteers from around the globe and illustrates what can be accomplished when families, communities and nations come together to build a future where every man, woman and child has a decent place to live.
Habitat for Humanity Nepal was chosen to host the 2015 Carter Work Project, scheduled for November, because of its outstanding work in addressing the need for decent and affordable housing in Nepal. Since its formation in 1997, Habitat for Humanity Nepal has achieved numerous accomplishments in the housing sector.
Due to unstable political and economic situation in Nepal at that time, Habitat had to take the unprecedented step of cancelling the project. Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and cooking fuel coming into the country had been halted or slowed to a critical point and the country was also running low on essential supplies including food and medicine. Habitat was unable to guarantee the care and safety of successfully hosting more than 1,500 volunteers and would have also taken away precious local resources already in short supply from homeowners and the people of Nepal.
The news published in HFHI after the cancellation of JRCWP in Nepal on Oct, 2015
Carter Work Project in Nepal cancelled due to shortage of fuel and essential supplies in the country
Habitat for Humanity to complete homes through local resources as conditions improve
ATLANTA (Oct. 8, 2015) – Habitat for Humanity International regrets to announce the cancellation of this year’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, formerly scheduled to take place November 1-6, 2015, in the Chitwan District of Nepal.
As reported by news media, Nepal has been experiencing civil unrest due to the country’s recent announcement of its new constitution. Habitat has been closely monitoring the situation and new circumstances have proven to be safety risks for volunteers and staff. Currently, many goods and materials coming into the country—including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and cooking fuel, as well as food and medical supplies—have been halted or slowed to a critical point, hindering Habitat’s capacity to effectively and safely execute the planned project.
Additionally, the U.S. Embassy located in Kathmandu today issued a message recommending travelers evaluate any upcoming plans in Nepal, stating that due to the nationwide fuel shortage and blockages at the border, “many of the safety measures that would normally be relied on in an emergency situation may become unavailable.”
“I am saddened that we have had to cancel this year’s Carter Work Project,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO, Habitat for Humanity International. “It’s the first time in 32 years that we have found ourselves in such a position. However, the severity of the shortages has proven to be insurmountable and given the circumstances, we would not be able to guarantee volunteer care and safety. Additionally, a large-scale event like this would only take away precious local resources already in short supply. This has been a difficult decision, but it is the responsible thing to do. We are grateful to our supporters and ask for their understanding and patience at this time.”
Habitat for Humanity remains committed to addressing adequate housing needs in the country. Nepali families who were selected as partner homeowners for the project will still be served through local construction resources.
“While I am disappointed that we are unable to build in Nepal due to such uncertain circumstances, Rosalynn and I understand and support Habitat’s decision. We will keep the people of Nepal in our prayers and ask everyone to do the same,” said President Jimmy Carter. “We look forward to our ongoing work with Habitat and continuing to help shine the light on the need for affordable housing.”
Habitat has been fortunate to receive commitment from 1,500 volunteers from within Nepal and around the world for the 2015 Carter Work Project, and will work directly with them to address questions regarding the unforeseen cancellation of the build in Nepal.