Do you have the desire to combine international travel with immersion in another culture while making a difference in a way which is profoundly fulfilling? Do you find yourself thinking that you would like a “vacation with a purpose” and not just a tourist trip? Would you like to really get to know local people in another culture? Then, look no further. The primary attributes of a successful Global Village team member are: a servant’s heart, a willingness to learn from the people of the host country, a sense of humor, the desire to meet and work with other like-minded travelers and the ability to be very flexible. This team is open to men and women of all ages and construction skills are not necessary.
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 4 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.
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.
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.
(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.
Wanda Smith of Frankfort, Indiana is a veteran leader of 45 previous Global Village teams who is very excited about leading her first trip to the culturally rich country of Armenia in the Near East. She is retired from high school guidance counseling, but continues teaching and working in various capacities on a part-time basis. She is a founding member of her local Habitat for Humanity and served on the Habitat board as recording secretary and chairman of the family selection committee for more than 15 years. Wanda always looks forward to meeting new people at any point in the world. Leading and facilitating Global Village teams is an absolute passion for Wanda and she may be reached at email@example.com or her cell phone number at 765-242-1186. She looks forward to discussing this awesome trip with prospective team members.