North Korea: Georgia Group Exporting the Building Blocks of Peace

North Korea: Georgia Group Exporting the Building Blocks of Peace

By Trevor Williams
Global Atlanta – business news
7.29.10

Now may not seem like the best time to undertake a humanitarian project in North Korea. 

Tensions on the peninsula are at their highest point in years after a torpedo attack in March sank a South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. The international community has blamed North Korea for the incident, and the U.S. has led the charge for greater sanctions against the reclusive country at the United Nations.

In its latest belligerent comments, North Korea has warned that joint military exercises conducted this week by South Korea and the U.S. would result in armed retaliation.

Against this ominous backdrop, a Georgia aid group is carrying on with a project aimed at fostering harmony by building homes in North Korea.

Based in Americus, the Fuller Center for Housing is partnering with the North Korean government to construct a 50-unit apartment complex in a small farming community outside the capital city ofPyongyang.

In addition to providing energy-efficient housing that can withstand natural disasters, the goal is to "demystify" the North Korean people to Americans, and vice versa, said David Snell, the Fuller Center’s president.

"We know very little about each other as people," Mr. Snell told GlobalAtlanta. "When I’m over there and I’m working with the folks, I could be anywhere in the world. People are people."

Read the full story here
Learn more about The Fuller Center’s work in North Korea.

The Excitement is Building!

The Excitement is Building!

The Excitement is Building was the title of one of Millard Fuller’s many books. The statement is as true today as it was when Millard wrote the book. At this moment, the excitement is building in Indianapolis. The week of September 3-10 (build dates are Sept. 5-10) the Central Indiana Fuller Center and about 300 out-of-town volunteers will build seven new homes, two ReNew homes and 12 Greater Blessing rehabs. For the first time at a blitz build, all three of the Fuller Center’s building programs will be going on at the same time.

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Cyclists stop in Macon as part of effort to eradicate impoverished housing

By TIFFANY STEVENS
Macon.com/The Macon Telegraph
Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cyclists from across the country rode into downtown Macon on Friday afternoon after completing another stretch of a biking marathon that began in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The eight bikers are some of this year’s Fuller Center Bike Adventurers, a group of cyclists traveling 2,500 miles to help promote the Fuller Center for Housing’s mission of eradicating impoverished housing conditions.

This year’s marathon marks the third such effort, said Dianne Fuller, a representative of the Fuller Center for Housing. Biking enthusiast Ryan Iafigliola came up with the idea, she said. “He loved biking and wanted to start a bike ride that would do two things — raise awareness about poverty and how to eliminate it, and that would raise funds,” she said.

“Each (group of cyclists) can designate where they want the money to go. In general, it goes to places like Haiti, El Salvador, communities in the U.S., Nigeria and the Congo.”

Members of the group started their trip June 20, and they plan to arrive in New Orleans by Aug. 7.

“It’s been awesome. We call it the Bike Adventure, and it’s been a very fitting name because every day is a new adventure,” said Iafigliola. “Most of the people have been here for the entire ride. But we’ve had so many people who have joined for a few hours or days or even weeks. It’s been really cool.”

Read the full article here. 

News VIDEO: Build Up, Speak Out

From WMGT TV in Macon, GA

Watch an interview with a Fuller Center cyclist and a Fuller Center staff member for a great overview of life on the road with the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure, what the team does and the importance of The Fuller Center’s work.

Learn more about the Bicycle Adventure

Help the team reach its fundraising goal of $250,000, ALL of which will go toward building and repairing homes!

Fuller Center's bicycle mission begins when pedaling stops

Fuller Center's bicycle mission begins when pedaling stops

By Kim Kimzey for GoUpstate.com – Spartanburg Herald News
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 
Spartanburg, S.C. 

Volunteers cycling across the country on a 2,500-mile journey made a stop in Spartanburg and repaired two homes during the past few days. The volunteers are participants in the third annual Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure, which raises awareness and money for The Fuller Center for Housing, a ministry with a mission “to provide adequate shelter for all people in need worldwide.”

Ryan Iafigliola is leading the bicycle trip. Iafigliola, director of international field operations with The Fuller Center, said cyclists left Niagara Falls, N.Y., on June 20 and are about 1,500 miles into the tour. They arrived here Saturday and are scheduled to leave today. About 1,000 miles remain before the group reaches the end of the tour in New Orleans.

Iafigliola said six volunteers plan to travel the entire route. Others have joined the group for shorter distances. They have dealt with scorching heat, thunderstorms, flat tires and “fluke injuries,” but Iafigliola said the biggest challenge is the “day-to-day grind.” They cycle an average of 70 miles per day. Nights are usually spent sleeping on church floors.

“We want to be sure that all the money we raise is going toward the work, so we’re not paying for hotels or fancy meals. We’re just living off what we can get for cheap or free; that way all the money we raise goes toward the work,” he said.

Read the rest of the story, and how the bike team helped the Spartanburg Fuller Center covenant partner, from the Spartanburg Herald Journal.

Join The Fuller Center to party for a good cause in New Orleans

Join The Fuller Center to party for a good cause in New Orleans

You are invited to join The Fuller Center for Housing, the Northshore FCH in Louisiana and the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure team on August 7 at Jammin’ for Fuller in New Orleans, a benefit concert raising funds allowing The Fuller Center to build and rehab homes for low income families across the U.S. and around the world. 

The concert will take place on the heels of the dedication of Northshore FCH’s first house – built for Delores Black, who lost her home to Hurricane Katrina – and the official end of the third Bicycle Adventure, a 2,500-mile, fund- and awareness-raising journey that departed Niagara Falls on June 20. 

The Jammin’ for Fuller lineup features legendary musicians Charmaine Neville, The Rebirth Brass Band, Germaine Bazzle and several others. Tickets are only $15 and special room rates are available at two, nearby hotels if you act quickly. All ticket proceeds will benefit the Fuller Center’s work to improve living conditions for impoverished families. 

After seeing the work of the Fuller Center, Katrina Porter-Dean, a cousin of Delores Black and a New Orleans event planner, signed on and volunteered her services to coordinate these events and help spread the word about the work of The Fuller Center.

"I saw first hand how my cousin Delores was being blessed by this ministry and wanted to be a part of helping them celebrate their 5th anniversary in our great city, commemorate the 5th year anniversary of hurricane Katrina and, most importantly, raise funds so they can continue to serve low-income families," said Porter-Dean.

We hope to see you at the event!

Visit the event’s page for details on attending Jammin’ for Fuller.

Special event coming up in Macon, GA!

Special event coming up in Macon, GA!

GEICO and The Fuller Center invite to you to join the Middle Georgia Community in welcoming the 2010 Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure by participating in an afternoon of cycling and an evening of fun at the Cox Capitol Theatre on Friday, July 23. Participants will enjoy a Dutch-treat dinner, a brief program presented by the Bike Adventure cyclists and a showing of the film "Breaking Away."
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VIDEO: Fuller Center Bike Adventure helps homeowner in Aurora, OH

The Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure is nearing the halfway point of its seven-week trip. In addition to raising funds and spreading the word about The Fuller Center, the team is stopping in six cities along the way to build with Fuller Center covenant partners. 

The team’s first build day was in Aurora, Ohio with the NW Portage County Fuller Center. The homeowner is Brenda Martin, a single mother of two sons who was running up an impossible electric bill. 

Martin asked around for help and met up with Clete Yoder of the NW Portage Fuller Center. He discovered that her home was poorly insulated. Yoder is hoping the renovations The Fuller Center is undertaking, including insulation added and windows sealed by the cyclists, will drastically reduce her electric bills.

Here, Brenda talks about what that will mean for her:

Keep up with the bike team’s adventures and other build days on the bicycle adventure blog.

Contribute to the bicycle adventure to help them meet their fundraising goal and to allow The Fuller Center to help more people like Brenda!