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Vac, Hungary

August 9, 2014 to August 22, 2014

Join us for an exciting build in beautiful Vác, Hungary. This is an excellent opportunity to work with friendly people and learn about their unique and colorful culture. No construction skills or experience are required, just a thirst for adventure and a willingness to learn.

Erzsebet Toth and her sons in front of their new home

About Hungary
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, over 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

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will work on renovation and rehab projects. Some projects will work in partnership with other organizations.

Standard itinerary
(14-day itinerary)

Day 1 (typically Saturday): Depart for Hungary.
Day 2 (Sunday): Arrive 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.
Day 9 (Sunday):Free time; cultural activities in local community.
Days 10-12 (Monday-Wednesday, 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. There will also be a farewell dinner on day 12.
Day 13 (Thursday): Travel back to Budapest; free time; final team dinner.
Day 14 (Friday): Departure day.

Note: Special events throughout the two work weeks include additional cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tours, etc.

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 served at the hotel or 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.

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
Ezra Millstein has worked as the staff photographer for Habitat for Humanity International since 2007. Based in Atlanta, he has documented Habitat’s work in more than 70 countries around the world, and has led Global Village teams to Vietnam, Hawaii, Tajikistan, South Korea, Jordan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, India, China, Nicaragua and Thailand. He previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer, and worked for World Wildlife Fund, International Rescue Committee and the National Geographic Society. You can see his work at For more information about this build, contact Ezra at

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

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