Fall is a lovely time to travel in Eastern Europe. This Global Village trip offers you the opportunity to experience the old world charm of Budapest, the excitement and energy of a modern city, the warmth of the Hungarian people and the opportunity to work together to improve lives by improving housing. Our team will be a diverse group who cares about others and is willing to work hard on a common goal. No prior construction skills or experience are required; only a desire to learn, be flexible, make new friends and enjoy a vacation with a purpose. We hope you will join our great team!
Located in Central Europe’s Carpathian Basin, Hungary has been a link in the chain connecting the East to the West for thousands of years. It shares political borders with Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Ukraine. The landscape is mostly flat with low mountains on the Slovakian border. Hungary has a temperate climate. The summers are warm and the winters are cold with a considerate amount of snow.
About Habitat for Humanity Hungary
HFH Hungary was founded in 1996, when former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and more than 500 volunteers built 10 homes within one week in Vac. Since then, Habitat for Humanity has helped 198 families to have a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity Hungary is also involved in a repairs and renovations program for families who cannot afford to maintain their existing homes. According to the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, 1.2 million people in the country live in overcrowded conditions. Single-room apartments are frequently shared by multiple families. Out of the almost 4 million homes in Hungary, more than 400,000 lack a water pipeline. Many homes have no sewage systems, and some 670,000 lack a flush toilet.
A large segment of Hungarians fall through the cracks of government and social support. There are those in Hungary who live in third-world poverty, those who cannot afford regular monthly repayment for housing nor utilities.
A great part of the need for Habitat for Humanity Hungary’s individual repair projects stems from the high inflation of the 1990s. Home maintenance costs grew in that decade from 10 percent of the average Hungarian family’s income to about 50 percent, rendering many low-income families unable to look after their homes. Typical problems Habitat for Humanity Hungary addresses in this program include upgrading doors and windows, fixing roofs, changing sections of walls, and adding bathrooms. Often these projects improve energy efficiency, leading to reduced environmental impact and lower energy bills for the homeowners.
You can learn more about HFH Hungary at www.habitat.hu.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will work on renovation and rehab projects. Some projects will work in partnership with other organizations.
Day 1 (typically Saturday): Depart for Hungary.
Day 2 (Sunday): Arrival in Budapest, Hungary; welcome and orientation with Habitat Hungary national office staff member; dinner; overnight in Budapest.
Day 3 (Monday): Travel to host program; welcome and orientation with Habitat host program; dinner.
Days 4–8 (Tuesday–Saturday, Work days): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities.
Note: Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tours, etc. There will also be a farewell dinner on day 8. A half day for local cultural activities will also be scheduled for Thursday or Friday.
Day 9 (Sunday): Travel to Budapest; free time; final team dinner.
Day 10 (Monday): Departure day.
Most GV teams will stay in a hotel in Budapest and then in double-occupancy rooms with shared baths at a hotel or guesthouse near the host program.
Breakfast will be at the hotel or in a local restaurant. Lunch will be served daily on the work site and dinner will typically be taken in a local restaurant. Water and snacks are included in the cost of the trip and will be provided throughout the day.
(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.
Kristin Distelhorst has been a life-long volunteer and organizer and supports HFH’s goal of building basic decent housing for those in need. A former community health nurse, she has spent the last 15 years teaching English language learners to become health care workers and obtain living wage positions in health care. Kristin currently works as a construction volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in South Seattle and has participated in Global Village trips to Armenia and Poland. She is excited about this opportunity to work with a dedicated group of volunteers and help to make this trip a positive and memorable experience for everyone involved. Please feel free to contact her at email@example.com to learn more about this trip.
Team leader Maria Winston is a retired high school foreign language teacher who has traveled extensively throughout Europe while leading groups of adults and students on educational tours. She was born in Hungary and very much looks forward to building a brighter future for citizens of her native country. Maria has participated in Global Village trips to Hungary, Portugal and Poland and believes volunteering for Habitat is a special calling that makes a real difference in the lives of others. Join the team for a memorable and enjoyable experience. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.