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Vác, Hungary

July 18, 2014 to July 27, 2014

Here’s a chance to be in Hungary off the tourist track, helping families’ dreams of a decent home come true. Discover the contrasts of Hungary’s culture and life, the charm of the old town squares with the 21st century technology nearby. We will work on building simple, decent homes for a community in Hungary. Anyone who wants to experience being part of this old world culture is invited to join.

No previous construction skills or experience is required, just an ability to learn, be flexible, share tasks and enjoy making friends and acquaintances from different cultures as well as one’s own. It promises to be an amazing, life-changing vacation with a purpose. The team is seeking adventurous, hard-working, enthusiastic people looking to make a difference in the lives of others.

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

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

Standard itinerary
(10-day itinerary)

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; two-hour bus tour; 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.

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
Biff Houldin will lead this GV trip to Budapest, Hungary. As founder and leader of Global Works, Biff has led and operated international trips for 20 years, and has now turned his attention to leading more than 15 Habitat trips.

Biff says,“We look forward to meaningful work and discovery travel. We always work to form a balanced team that cares about each other and functions well as a group, and that balance is helped by diverse ages and backgrounds. We will work to gather a friendly group of volunteers that will care about each other’s needs, and be sensitive to the needs of our Hungarian community. Join our exceptional group for an unforgettable experience in helping others.”

Contact Biff for more details at He can help make sure you have clear expectations, will be comfortable in the decision to join and will help in making arrangements. 

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

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