Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. Today, Habitat for Humanity is a true world leader in addressing the issues of poverty housing with a presence in over 70 countries worldwide where it has built more than half a million homes. The organization has helped more than 6.8 million people find strength, stability and independence through safe, decent and affordable shelter.
As a country office, Habitat for Humanity Philippines was established in 1988 and has served more than 140,000 families, and mobilized volunteers who have contributed more than 500,000 hours, through building and repairing homes and communities.
The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian community outside of Americus, Georgia. Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan.
The Fullers first visited Koinonia in 1965. They had recently left a successful business and an affluent lifestyle in Montgomery, Alabama to begin a new life of Christian service.
At Koinonia, Jordan and Fuller developed the concept of “partnership housing.” The concept centered on those in need of adequate shelter working side by side with volunteers to build simple, decent houses.
Expansion into Habitat for Humanity International
In September 1976, Millard and Linda called together a group of supporters to discuss the future of their dream. Habitat for Humanity International as an organization was born at this meeting. The eight years that followed, vividly described in Millard Fuller’s book, “Love in the Mortar Joints,” proved that the vision of a housing ministry was workable. Faith, hard work and direction set HFHI on its successful course.
In 1984, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn took their first Habitat work trip, the Jimmy Carter Work Project, to New York City. Their personal involvement in Habitat’s ministry brought the organization national visibility and sparked interest in Habitat’s work across the nation. HFHI experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new affiliates around the country.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project: Philippines
Fifteen years after, the Carters came to the Philippines and built 293 homes in 6 locations in the country - Cavite, Paranaque, Bacolod, Dumaguete, General Santos, and Tagbilaran. Over 14,000 volunteers from the Philippines and 32 other countries joined Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in the one-week house building activity. The JCWP '99 ushered a new spirit of volunteerism in the country.