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“Catholicos Karekin II Work Project” announced; Armenian Church tackles poverty housing

March 21, 2006

Habitat for Humanity and the Armenian Church announce commencement of an historic event to address poverty housing in Armenia: “Catholicos Karekin II Work Project: An Armenian Building on Faith Project”.

The home-building blitz will take place September 5-9, 2006, in northern Armenia, near Lake Sevan. Thirty-seven homes – symbolizing 36 worldwide Dioceses, plus the Holy See, representing the Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of all Armenians – will be built for families in need in Armenia.

“His Holiness personally invites all Armenians worldwide to galvanize and join this unique opportunity to rebuild Armenia,” said Bishop Vicken Aykazian. “Armenians worldwide will come together in a spirit of community and goodwill to reconnect with their roots, their homeland, and their faith.”

The Armenian Catholicos’ leadership in this event strengthens the growing relationship between the Armenian Church and Habitat for Humanity, aimed at eliminating poverty housing in Armenia and around the world.

“We feel extremely blessed that His Holiness Karekin II has joined our efforts to combat poverty housing,” says Don Haszczyn, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity’s Europe & Central Asia Programs. “More than 40% of Armenia’s population lives in substandard housing. This event will not only build homes with Armenian families in need, but more importantly, it will highlight the plight of those still living in unacceptable housing conditions both in Armenia and the wider region.”

In Armenia, a country of 3 million nestled in the southern Caucasus, 45% of the population lives at or below the poverty level, according to the Council of Europe. Habitat for Humanity Armenia has been working with families in need since 2000, and provided homes for more than 1,000 people.

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