Kyrgyzstan has been an independent country since August 31, 1991. The populace is still adjusting to independence since it was ceded to Russia in the 19th century and then became part of the USSR in 1919. Come build alongside local families and learn about the culture and history in an area that is playing an important position in the emerging geopolitical situation. This should be an endeavor that will make a major impact on you.
Officially known as the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzstan shares borders with Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east and south, Tajikistan to the south and Uzbekistan to the west. Although landlocked, its culture has been shaped by the nomadic tribes that traveled the Silk Route in prior centuries.
Known for the breathtaking natural beauty of the Tien-Shan Mountains, it has some of the highest mountains and lakes, as well as remote wilderness. Despite its natural wealth, the country has suffered severe economic problems since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Although the country has suffered many difficulties, its people have retained a sense of confidence about the future as they transition to more democratic governance.
About Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan
This Global Village team will be working in Bishkek, one of the largest cities in Central Asia and the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek has a population of nearly 1 million people.
In August 2000, the local Habitat affiliate started building the first 10 houses in Bishkek and had its first dedication of 20 houses in the fall of 2002. Since the beginning, the affiliate has experienced many challenges such as increasing construction materials costs and no governmental privileges or tax exemptions. Overcrowding is a major problem in Bishkek and other cities with multiple families sharing one apartment or house. Many families must share living space of 12 sq.m. or less.
For more information, visit the HFH Kyrgyzstan’s website.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may help with new construction of complete homes, cane reed technology houses, duplex and row houses, apartment and home renovations, and apartment and home repairs. In Bishkek, houses are built on a one-meter concrete foundation. Exterior and interior walls are brick covered in plaster. Floors and ceilings are made of wood. Roofs are timber-framed trusses with tile. All houses have running water, gas for cooking, and electricity.
Houses come in two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom versions with decorative fronts with sizes of 58, 74 or 92 square meters. Houses sit on their own plots of land and have a small garden for growing vegetables.
Day 1(typically Saturday): Depart the United States.
Day 2 (Sunday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday): Arrival in Bishkek; welcome and orientation with Habitat Kyrgyzstan staff member; dinner.
Days 4-8 Work days (Tuesday-Saturday): Breakfast; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner in house; special events throughout the week
Day 9 (Sunday): Free day: cultural activity in local community.
Days 10-14(Monday- Friday): Breakfast; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner in the house; time for team activities. Farewell dinner on Day 14.
Day 15 (Saturday): Departure day.
Most GV teams will stay in private apartments. Accommodations in Kyrgyzstan can best be described as minimalist, but safe and clean. Habitat has reserved apartments very conveniently located in the center of the city in a large Soviet-era apartment building. Apartments are furnished and clean, with full use of kitchen facilities in case volunteers wish to cook by themselves. Team members will share double-occupancy rooms in the apartment. There is one bathroom per apartment that has a bathtub, shower facility and toilet.
(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.
Peter Sexton is a seasoned Global Village leader having led builds since 1997. He has built in a wide range of locations in Africa, South America and Europe. He has also been a house leader and crew leader on multiple Carter Work Projects most recently in Leogane, Haiti. Locally Peter volunteers for HFH Boston and South Shore HFH.
Peter is educated as a materials scientist and does international business development on electronic materials, in particular those used in solar cells. His pastimes include mountaineering, skiing, sailing and international travels. The less travelled places he has been to include North Korea, Bhutan, Tibet and Cape Horn.
Peter is committed to assuring that each team member no matter their skill level will have a fulfilling Global Village experience. For more information, contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.