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Barskoon, Kyrgyzstan

August 23, 2014 to September 6, 2014

Have you always wanted to help others but wondered how or where to begin? Maybe you’ve done some volunteering and want to challenge yourself with a new experience? Here’s your opportunity to really step outside the box! 

Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet Republic where nearly 70 percent of the population lives in substandard homes or is homeless. Located on the southern shore of Lake Issyk Kul, Barskoon is the destination where we will spend two weeks helping to improve the lives of others. On this trip, you will have the opportunity to work with an incredible team consisting of a local family, skilled workers and a group of enthusiastic international volunteers while learning about a culture that most people will never experience. 

If you have a flexible attitude, a desire to meet and learn about new people, are excited to be a part of a team, and want to make a difference, please join us this August!

About Kyrgyzstan
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.

This Global Village team will be working in a village called Barskoon located five hours from the capital city of Bishkek. It is located close to Lake Issik-Kul, the world’s second-largest mountain lake – and the fifth deepest lake in the world.

About Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan
Barskoon has a population of approximately 7,000 people and has a cash economy. Habitat Kyrgyzstan expanded to Barskoon in 2004. During the build there will be opportunities to visit various points of interest.

For more information, visit the HFH Kyrgyzstan website.

Types of construction for volunteers
The houses in Barskoon are made of big clay blocks. The foundations are poured cement and the walls are made of large clay blocks, which are plastered with a mixture of clay and straw, and then a mixture of clay and sand, which becomes cement-hard when dry.

Volunteer tasks might include: leveling site, digging and pouring foundations, mixing cement and clay, raising walls, setting roof trusses, stucco, painting and landscaping. We will do whatever work is helpful when we are in Barskoon. Construction experience is not required, but a willingness to do “whatever” is necessary.

Standard itinerary
(15-day itinerary)

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.
Day 4 (Tuesday): Travel to Barskoon; dinner. Welcom orientation with local staff.
Days 5-8 Work days (Wednesday-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 10-13 Work days (Monday –Thursday): Breakfast; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner in house; special events throughout the week.
Day 14 (Friday): Travel to Bishkek; farewell dinner.
Day 15 (Saturday): Departure day.

We will stay in local houses. Some houses have traditional western beds but some have traditional Kyrgyz beds made of mats and blankets on the felt carpet on the floor. Linens and towels are included. There are outhouse toilets. The shower facilities are limited, so after work, volunteers will use a steam room to bathe (like a Finnish bath). Meals will be modest with breakfast in the house, lunch on site, and dinners will be cooked by family members. The last night in Bishkek, the team will stay in double-occupancy rooms in a hotel.

Program cost
(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
Tricia Vos has participated in four previous Global Village builds and is thrilled for the opportunity to lead this trip to Kyrgyzstan! Currently she resides in Boston and works as a chemist in the field of oncology drug discovery. In her spare time, she enjoys everything from sports to opera, spending time on Cape Cod or traveling around the globe, and relaxing with friends and family. 

A few years ago, she realized that international volunteering was the perfect way to combine her passions for travel and helping others. Tricia loves working within a team environment and strives to bring diverse people together while building a sense of community and common purpose. She is excited to share this trip with you! If you are interested in participating in this build to Kyrgyzstan, please contact Tricia at

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

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