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Dreams come true for 24 families in Macedonia


Simeon Gichev sharing a few words during the signing ceremony.

Picture taken by Galina Strachkova


The newly constructed complex in Veles will house 24 families.

Picture taken by Austen Fast

Simeon Gichev, 31 years old, will soon be a proud owner of his first apartment in Veles, an industrial town in central Macedonia. Simeon and his family are among those who will move into 24 apartments in the newly constructed Habitat complex.

The building program was initiated by Habitat for Humanity Macedonia two years ago. Veles families who are in urgent need of improving their living conditions could apply. They were selected based on their housing need, family income and willingness to work with Habitat.

Since Habitat is not a hand-out program, all the participants will repay the costs of the apartments over a specified period of time. At the same time, to lower the construction costs and thus burden on the families who live on low incomes, the future homeowners were required to contribute working hours at the construction site.

“From the moment we applied for our Habitat home, our lives were filled with hope and excitement to be in our own home, the one we’ve dreamt of for years. No one can set a value on the experience of working on your home side-by-side with volunteers from all over the world, and this serves to show that all is possible when people from various walks of life unite around a single goal,” says Simeon Gichev.

Paving the way for the move
At the end of April, Habitat for Humanity Macedonia and its partner families signed contracts to formalize the participation in the program. These agreements pave the way for the selected low-income families to move into the homes that will soon be completed by Habitat.

Habitat’s area vice-president for Europe and Central Asia, US ambassador to Macedonia with his wife, a team of US volunteers and mayor of Veles attended the ceremony.

After the formal part, the partner families, volunteer teams and the US ambassador and his wife worked at the building site. Tradition of volunteering lies at the heart of Habitat’s model for building safe, decent, and affordable homes.

Habitat complex in Veles
Habitat for Humanity began construction on an entire housing complex in Veles in October 2009. The project plans to provide 11 housing units with 90 apartments. Today, four buildings are in the final stages of construction. They will house 24 families in apartments between 50 and 75 square meters.

The partner families took an active part in the construction of their own homes alongside over 500 volunteers from the US, Canada, Europe, and Macedonia. The construction process is supported by individuals, associations, and companies from North American, Europe and Macedonia.

What is next?
Habitat wants people not only to read about poverty housing but do something to fight it. You can support Habitat’s work in Macedonia in a number of ways. Here are some examples:

• Visit our donations page to support projects in Macedonia.
• Make a secure donation in Euros to support families in Macedonia.
• Go to country profile pages to learn about other programs in this country.

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