Lech Walesa, former president of Poland from 1989-1995 and a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1983, has agreed to visit Atlanta in May to help work on a Habitat for Humanity house that is to be built in the Toney Valley subdivision in DeKalb County.
The Avondale Estates Community Chest, a nonprofit organization based in Avondale Estates, is collecting funds to build the house. Some 30 volunteers. including a local boy scout troop, have cleared the property and made preparations for the construction of the house to be built at 2610 Meriam Lane.
“I was pleased and honored to receive your invitation to participate, along with President Jimmy Carter, in building a Habitat for Humanity house in Atlanta, Georgia,” Mr. Walesa wrote former Avondale Mayor Allan Kirwan last week. Mr. Kirwan invited Mr. Walesa to participate in the project on behalf of a committee of Avondale residents.
The committee also has invited Mr. Carter through Habitat to Humanity to participate in the building of the house and in a promotional event entitled “The Carpenter and the Electrician.” Mr. Carter has helped build Habitat houses around the world and Mr. Walesa was an electrical engineer when he worked at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk, Poland, during the 1970s.
Although the committee has not received a reply from Mr. Carter, it hopes that Mr. Walesa’s acceptance will encourage him to participate, Mr. Kirwan told GlobalAtlanta.
Mr. Walesa chose Avondale to be the host city for the Polish Olympic team during the 1996 Olympics Games. Although defeated in his presidential bid in 1995, he visited the small municipality to the east of Atlanta before the games.
Since his election defeat, he has remained active in Polish politics and established the Lech Walesa Institute Foundation, which is involved in a wide variety of social projects in Poland.
To learn more about Mr. Walesa’s visit, send an e-mail to Mr. Kirwan at aKirwan@mindspring.com.