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Tavush Region, Armenia

August 3, 2013 to August 14, 2013

Barev! Hello and welcome to Armenia, a country known for its generous and hospitable people, delicious food and amazingly rich history. The beautiful scenery of the Tavush region of northern Armenia is distinguished by mountains, forests, monasteries, monuments, lakes and rivers. You can make a difference in the lives of an Armenia family still recovering from the devastating earthquake of 1988, as we renovate homes through Habitat for Humanity Armenia, and experience the rich cultural heritage of the oldest country on earth.

About Armenia
Armenia occupies 29,700,000 square meters and is situated in the northeast Armenian highlands. The Republic of Armenia borders Georgia and Azerbaijan in the north and east, and Turkey and Iran in the west and south. The population is 3.2 million.

Yerevan is the largest city and capital of Armenia. Nestled on the Ararat Plain along the Hrazdan River, Yerevan is a leading industrial, cultural, and scientific centre in the Caucasus region.

Three events have shaped the current housing situation: economic and social transition, including housing privatization; a massive earthquake in 1988; and a large influx of refugees. Because of these factors, more than 50 percent of Armenia’s families in this area live in deteriorated housing with cramped quarters and limited water and heat. Almost every building in the country is considered to be below current safety requirements for earthquakes.

When families are forced to abandon the dream of completing their home due to financial hardship, they often live in the unfinished basement or cellar. This is basically a large hole in the ground with a dirt floor and makeshift roof. Others live in domiks, which are metal containers that were brought to Armenia as part of the relief effort following the devastating 1988 earthquake. Many families have been living in these containers for more than a decade. Domiks are unbearably hot in the summer and only makeshift stoves fight off the extreme cold in winter.

Ninety-six percent of the housing stock in Armenia is privately owned. The four percent of housing remaining in public rental is not targeted to low-income households. The work Habitat is doing in the country is essential to ensuring simple, decent, affordable housing for hundreds of Armenians.

About Habitat for Humanity in Armenia
Habitat for Humanity in Armenia is your source for information about all of Habitat for Humanity’s activities in this stunning Caucasus country of 3 million people, about 40 percent of whom live in inadequate shelter.

Habitat for Humanity in Armenia is the new name for Habitat’s presence here. After nearly eight years of work in Armenia, Habitat for Humanity re-launched its country organization in June 2008 to serve more low-income families at an exponentially faster rate.

Habitat for Humanity in Armenia tackles poverty housing through a variety of efforts, including the construction of affordable, efficient houses; the completion of half-built homes; implementation of water and sanitation facilities; advocacy of improved housing policies for low-income families; engagement of volunteers and other like-minded partners; and more. As of 2008, Habitat for Humanity in Armenia had helped nearly 400 families in need in Armenia into safe and secure shelter. Learn more at www.habitat.am.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers can help in the completion of half-built homes and renovations, including roof-replacement projects.

Standard itinerary
(12-day itinerary)
Day 1 (Typically Saturday): Depart the United States.
Day 2 (Sunday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday): Arrival in Yerevan in early morning; rest for a few hours; welcome and orientation with Habitat Armenia staff member; dinner.
Days 4-5 (Work days, Tuesday-Wednesday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities.
Day 6 (Thursday): Free day for cultural activities; dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities.
Days 7-8 (Work days, Friday-Saturday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities; special events throughout the week include cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, church, walking tours, etc.
Day 9 (Sunday): Free day: activity in local community.
Days 10-11 (Work days, Monday- Tuesday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8a.m.-4:30p.m. with lunch on-site.; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities; farewell dinner on Tuesday.
Day 12 (Wednesday): Departure day.

Accommodations
The teams will be accommodated in Yerevan. Hotels are simple and basic, and typically located in the city center. The team will stay in double-occupancy rooms with  a private bathroom. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure that they are safe, clean and well maintained.

Program cost
US$2,270
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world. 

Team leader
Todd and Sue Mattison moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2011, where they both work in higher education. Prior to moving to the great white north, Todd worked 30 years in commercial construction and Sue worked in higher education and for several years as a paramedic. They volunteered on a Habitat Global Village work trip to Nepal in 2011, and have volunteered locally with Habitat for many years. They both enjoy being outdoors – with garden experiments in their own back yard, canoeing on Wisconsin’s calm, fresh waters or building with Habitat around the world. For more information on this build, please contact Todd and Sue at gvmattison@gmail.com


To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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