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Beius, Romania

June 4, 2010 to June 14, 2010

Ciocan. Hammer. Mistri. Trowel. Ciment. Cement. Perete. Wall. House. Hope. Put these words into action by joining a team to build hope on the foundation of homeownership. By bringing your gift of time and labor, you’ll be surprised by what you receive as you help improve the lives of others.

No previous building skills or volunteer work required — smiles, helping hands, flexibility, and a sense of humor will take you further than you imagine! Come join us!

About Romania
Romania is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine. Romania has an estimated population of 22.3 million (2007 estimate). Its landscape is broken by the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvanian Alps. The climate is temperate: cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; and sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms.

Romanian is the main ethnic group (nearly 90 percent), but there are also sizable Hungarian (6.6 percent) and Roma (2.5 percent) populations. Romanian is the Romania’s official language. The dominant religion is Eastern Orthodox (87 percent, including all sub-denominations). Minority religions include Protestant (7.5 percent) and Roman Catholic (4.7 percent).

About Habitat for Humanity Romania
Romania became the 50th Habitat for Humanity country after being invited to help in Beius. Six other communities, including Cluj-Napoca (Cluj), Pitesti, Radauti, Comanesti, Cumpana and Craiova, have since taken up the challenge of ending poverty housing as part of Habitat. Now more than 1,200 families in Romania, who previously lived in miserable conditions, have a safe and healthy home.

Beius, where this GV team will be building, is a small town of 12,000 inhabitants located in the northwest of Romania’s Bihor county, near the Romanian-Hungarian border. The town is located in a beautiful valley with many villages surrounded by wonderful mountains. Beius has a rural feel and one should not be surprised to see a wagon with horses crossing through the town.

Founded in 1996, HFH Beius became the first Habitat affiliate in Romania, and has since provided 100 families in the Beius community with safe, decent, affordable shelter. Habitat Beius offers a hand-UP, not a hand out. Partner families pay back the home mortgage over 20 years at no interest, and invest 1,000 hours of sweat equity labor on other Habitat homes.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity Romania, visit

Types of construction for volunteers

Depending on the stage of construction, our team will work on a variety of tasks; New construction of single and duplex wood-frame houses, and home renovations and repairs. No construction experience is required for GV participants.

Standard itinerary
Day 1 (typically Friday):
Depart from home.
Day 2 (Saturday):
Arrival in Budapest, Hungary; overnight in hotel; team dinner.
Day 3(Sunday):
Travel to host program; welcome and orientation with Habitat host program staff member; dinner.
Days 4-6: Work days (Monday-Wednesday):
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; walking tour of host city.
Day 7: Free day (Thursday):
Breakfast served before traveling to work site; free time for cultural activities
-Dinner in local restaurants; time for team activities.
-Days 8-9 Work days (Friday-Saturday):
-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; walking tour of host city.
-Farewell dinner on Day 9.
Trip includes special events throughout the week: Cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, etc;
Day 10 (Sunday):
Travel to Budapest, Hungary; free time; final team dinner.
Day 11 (Monday):
Departure day.

Teams traveling to Beius, Romania, should expect to stay in a modest guest house with double- or triple-occupancy rooms and shared bath. Meals are usually taken at local restaurants or prepared by the team.

Trip cost

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).

Team leaders

Karen Sturnick
Karen has 10 years under her “tool belt” with Habitat for Humanity; and currently assists Habitat affiliates to grow with neighborhood revitalization and capacity building programs in Habitat for Humanity International’s U.S. area office. Karen’s interest in world travel and service began as an archeology student in Doar Na Negev, Israel, followed by an assignment with the UN’s World Food Program with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. In the U.S., she has served the public interest during her career in Alaska with the National Park Service and Bureau of Indians; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; and Interior AIDS Association.

In her new home state of Washington, when not working, she’s exploring the trails of the Olympic Peninsula, volunteering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross in disaster services and sharing her time with her “little” sister in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Having worked on several Jimmy Carter Work Projects overseas and in the U.S., this will be her third time leading a Global Village team.

Elizabeth Andrews
Elizabeth has built houses with Habitat with affiliates in New Mexico and with Carter Work Projects in Durban, South Africa; Veracruz, Mexico; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Valdosta, Georgia. Her volunteerism with Habitat for Humanity has extended to committee work with families, applicants, Women Build teams and, more recently, land acquisition. Currently, she is a member of the board of directors of her local affiliate.

When not volunteering with Habitat, Elizabeth is a member of FEMA’s Disaster Reservists Workforce on call to provide disaster assistance by supporting recovery efforts of communities, states, and U.S. territories following major disasters. During her career as an anthropologist living in Alaska, Elizabeth traveled to many villages and worked with Alaska’s native people. New to Global Village teams, she’s not new to Team Habitat!

To learn more about this trip, please contact Karen and Elizabeth at

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

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