THE BLOG
05/31/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Architecture for Humanity announces new spokesanimal

Tokyo, Japan -- April 6, 2010 marks the end of ten years of Architecture for Humanity, a non profit that brings design, construction and development services to communities in need. In celebration of this milestone and to raise awareness of the organizations' impact, Architecture for Humanity is announcing a new spokesperson [Correction: spokesanimal] for the organization, Hugh Manatee. Additionally the group is partnering with the South Florida Aquarium to co-host a 12 month tour for the him to visit key projects around the world.

Hugh, a 1200 lb Antillean Manatee, has been resident at the Aquarium for the past six years, after being rescued after a boating accident. This tour will visit ten projects around the world and end at the Architecture for Humanity Headquarters in San Francisco. Hugh will travel with two handlers and a travel tank allowing him to view projects first hand and bring a sense of excitement to countless onlookers.

Thanks to the support of an anonymous Japanese donor, the tour launches in Tokyo at a special Pecha Kucha event hosted by Super Deluxe on May 8, 2010. Hugh will then visit Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and India before a long journey through Africa. Then, during the 2010 World Cup, Hugh travels through South Africa before visiting construction projects Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Architecture for Humanity prides itself on the strong community of design and construction professionals it has worked with over the past decade. Therefore, the organization is giving them the task to decide where Hugh visits on the last leg of the tour. The final leg begins in Biloxi, Mississippi to visit the Model Home Project and then, based on requests posted on You Tube in April, Hugh will take direction from the organizations' supporters and friends before heading to the headquarters in San Francisco. It is hoped that the tour will be completed on April 6, 2011.

"Hugh has defied the logic that all mascots should be cute," Co-founder Cameron Sinclair stated "Instead of languishing in an aquarium, he's highlighting all our great projects while educating everyone that the manatee is the most charitable animal in the animal kingdom. We're honored to be associated with such a noble creature."

To participate in the video upload please view the introduction video or upload your suggested location to You Tube and tag it Hugh the Manatee.

Additionally to help cover the costs of the trip and to help expand our work Architecture for Humanity, composers and musicians Greg Artzner and Terry Leonino have offered "Hugh the Manatee" to every Architecture for Humanity online donation above $10 in 2010. Donors will redirected after contributing to a page to download the single and cheer on Hugh through his adventures.

[Correction: Due to complaints from animal rights activists we have corrected the headline from spokesperson to spokesanimal]

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