Serve with new people, learn about a different culture and help a family in need in Hajduboszormeny, Hungary. We will meet in Budapest and travel to the host site together from there. Once we get to our destination, we will learn about how Habitat for Humanity is serving the community, and we will get our hands dirty!
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.
Hajduboszormeny is situated on the Great Plain of Hungary about 211 kilometers to the east of Budapest. Hajduboszormeny has an important place in Hungarian history, as it was the centre of the Hajdu region, home to the Hajdus, a group of shepherds who also served their country as fierce soldiers. The population of Hajduboszormeny is 32,000 people, most of whom are employed in agricultural occupations. Many people work at a local General Electric plant, in the construction industry; schools (especially the local college), and other service-sector jobs. Nearby attractions include Debrecen, the second-largest city in Hungary; Hortobagy National Park; Aquapark in Hajduszoboszlo; and Tokaj, the most popular Hungarian wine region.
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 www.habitat.hu.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may help with new construction of duplex wood-frame houses or multi-family houses, as well as renovation projects.
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 Hajduboszormeny; welcome and orientation with Habitat host program; dinner.
Days 4–8 (Tuesday–Saturday, Workdays):
-Breakfast served before traveling to worksite; 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. Special events throughout the week include cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, walking tours, etc.
-Farewell dinner on Day 8.
Day 9 (Sunday):
-Travel to Budapest; free time; final team dinner.
Day 10 (Monday): Departure day.
Trip cost includes: donation to the Habitat host program and HFHI; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding trip participant airfare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities; team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated airfare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant airfare, R&R activities, and visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).
This will be Faith Zahn’s third time leading a GV trip. She started her Habitat experience in college, working with the Paterson, New Jersey, affiliate and on a Collegiate Challenge trip. She has been working with Habitat for Humanity International for almost two years in the Volunteer Mobilization department. Faith’s goal for this trip is that participants learn about Habitat, Hungary and have a great time while serving!
For questions about this trip, e-mail Faith at firstname.lastname@example.org.