UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka this week paid a special tribute to the memory of Mr. Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat for Humanity International, who died on February 3 near Americus, Georgia in the United States, aged 74.
Mr. Millard Fuller.
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“Mr. Fuller was a great and inspiring visionary. He brought a sense of pride to people most in need, a feeling that they can uplift themselves against seemingly impossible odds,” Mrs. Tibaijuka said.
“He inspired us all to take that very important step. His passing is a terrible loss to us all. Our prayers are with his family at this time," she added.
Mr. Fuller, who, propelled by his strong Christian principles walked away from his life as a successful businessman at age 29 to devote himself to the poor. He eventually started Habitat for Humanity International, which developed a system of using donated money, material and voluntary labour to build homes for low-income families.
The homes are sold without profit, and buyers pay no interest. Buyers are required to help build their houses, contributing what Fuller called sweat equity.
His skills included fund-raising finesse, an exuberant speaking style and a talent for making use of the news media.
Former US president Jimmy Carter, a longtime Habitat supporter and volunteer, also mourned Fuller’s passing. "He was an inspiration to me, other members of our family and an untold number of volunteers who worked side by side under his leadership," Mr. Carter said.