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Nurek, Tajikistan

May 14, 2010 to May 25, 2010

Join us for an exciting build in beautiful, rugged Central Asia. This is an excellent opportunity to work with friendly Tajiks and to learn about their unique and colorful culture. No previous construction skill or experience is required, just a thirst for adventure and a willingness to learn.

About Tajikistan
Tajikistan is located in Central Asia, west of China. It also shares borders with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The country is landlocked in a mountainous region, primarily dominated by the Trans-Alay and Pamir Mountain ranges. Tajikistan’s highest point, Qullai Ismoili Somoni, was previously known as “Communism Peak” and was the tallest mountain in the former USSR.

The climate in Tajikistan varies depending on altitude, but most areas experience hot summers and mild winters, with colder temperatures in higher elevations. It is home mainly to Tajiks, who share culture and history with Iranians, and speak Tajik, a language closely related to Persian.

About Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan
Due to the country’s civil war in the 1990s and the ensuing economic collapse, poverty housing is rampant. Many unfinished homes are scattered all across Tajikistan, while existing housing is deteriorating from neglect.

Habitat for Humanity became involved in Tajikistan in 1999, two years after the end of the country’s civil war. In partnership with Shelter for Life International, HFH has been building in the southern and northern regions of the war-torn country. In November 2003, a community group in the northern city of Khujand was officially welcomed as Habitat’s newest Central Asian affiliate.

Nurek is located in the Khatlon region in the southwest of Tajikistan, 75 kilometers from the capital city Dushanbe. Of five regions in the country, this region is the biggest and poorest and is home to a third of the country’s population of roughly 6.5 million. Eighty-five percent of the Khatlon region is threatened by mudslides, and 32 percent of the area is situated in the high mudslide risk zone. These natural disasters occur annually with lives and homes frequently lost.

Types of construction for volunteers
Construction for volunteers include new construction of complete homes, termination of partially-constructed homes, renovations, apartment and home repairs. Depending on the phase of construction, our team will work on a variety of tasks. No previous construction experience is required for GV participants.

Standard itinerary
(12-day itinerary)

Day 1, typically Friday: Depart for Tajikistan.
Day 2, Saturday: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey; team dinner.
Day 3, Sunday: Free day in Istanbul to explore the sights; lunch and dinner in restaurants; evening flight to Dushanbe.
Day 4, Monday: Arrive in Dushanbe in early morning; travel to Nurek; welcome and orientation with Habitat Tajikistan staff member; dinner.
Days 5–9, Tuesday–Saturday (workdays): Breakfast; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch on site; free time in evenings; dinner in local restaurants.
Day 10, Sunday: Travel to Dushanbe; free day; visit Gissar Fortress; farewell dinner with HFH Tajikistan staff; overnight in Dushanbe.
Day 11, Monday: Depart Dushanbe and arrive in Istanbul in the morning; free day to explore Istanbul; final team dinner.
Day 12, Tuesday: Departure day

Note: Trip includes time for team activities and special events throughout the week, such as a walking tour of host city and a visit to completed Habitat homes.

Note: The arrival and departure day may vary based on the flight schedule. Typically, there is one flight per week from Istanbul to Dushanbe; teams will take in-country transportation to Nurek.

Team members should expect to stay in a guesthouse. All facilities are screened by HFH staff to ensure they are safe, clean and well-maintained. Meals will be 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 air fare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities and team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated air fare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant air fare, R&R activities or visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).

Note: In-country transportation from Dushanbe to Nurek and back to Dushanbe is included in the trip cost.

Team Leader
Ezra Millstein is a staff photographer for Habitat for Humanity International. He works to document Habitat’s work in 90 countries around the world and has led Global Village teams to Vietnam and Hawaii. You can see his work at

For more information about this trip, contact Ezra via e-mail at

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

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