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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

May 24, 2013 to June 4, 2013

Join us in Kyrgyzstan for an unforgettable and life-changing service opportunity. On this trip, you will help build homes for local families, learn about Bishkek’s fascinating history and become immersed in its rich culture. If you are open to new experiences and willing to get a little dirty, consider joining this group for what will no doubt be a rewarding and eye-opening experience. No construction skills are required.

About Kyrgyzstan
Officially known as the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzstan shares borders with Kazakhstan to the north, China to the east and south, Tajikistan to the south and Uzbekistan to the west. Although landlocked, its culture has been shaped by the nomadic tribes that traveled the Silk Route in prior centuries.

Known for the breathtaking natural beauty of the Tien-Shan Mountains, it has some of the highest mountains and lakes, as well as remote wilderness. Despite its natural wealth, the country has suffered severe economic problems since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Although the country has suffered many difficulties, its people have retained a sense of confidence about the future as they transition to more democratic governance.

About Habitat for Humanity Kyrgyzstan
This Global Village team will be working in Bishkek, one of the largest cities in Central Asia and the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek has a population of nearly 1 million people.

In August 2000, the local Habitat affiliate started building the first 10 houses in Bishkek and had its first dedication of 20 houses in the fall of 2002. Since the beginning, the affiliate has experienced many challenges such as increasing construction materials costs and no governmental privileges or tax exemptions. Overcrowding is a major problem in Bishkek and other cities with multiple families sharing one apartment or house. Many families must share living space of 12 sq. m. or less.

For more information, visit the HFH Kyrgyzstan website.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may help with new construction of complete homes, cane reed technology houses, duplex and row houses, apartment and home renovations, and apartment and home repairs. In Bishkek, houses are built on a one-meter concrete foundation. Exterior and interior walls are brick covered in plaster. Floors and ceilings are made of wood. Roofs are timber-framed trusses with tile. All houses have running water, gas for cooking and electricity.

Houses come in two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom versions with decorative fronts with sizes of 58, 74, or 92 square meters. Houses sit on their own plots of land and have a small garden for growing vegetables.

Standard itinerary
(12-day itinerary)
Day 1 (typically Saturday): Depart the United States.
Day 2 (Sunday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Monday): Arrival in Bishkek; welcome and orientation with Habitat Kyrgyzstan staff member; dinner.
Days 4-8 Work days (Tuesday-Saturday): Breakfast; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner in house; special events throughout the week
Day 9 (Sunday): Free day: cultural activity in local community.
Days 10-11 (Monday- Tuesday): Breakfast; work from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with lunch on-site; dinner in the house; time for team activities. Farewell dinner on Day 11.
Day 12 (Wednesday): Departure day.

Most GV teams will stay in private apartments. Accommodations in Kyrgyzstan can best be described as minimalist, but safe and clean. Habitat has reserved apartments very conveniently located in the center of the city in a large Soviet-era apartment building. Apartments are furnished, clean, with full use of kitchen facilities in case volunteers wish to cook by themselves. Team members will share double-occupancy rooms in the apartment. There is one bathroom per apartment that has a bathtub, shower facility and toilet.

Program cost
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader
Andrina (AJ) Ong lives in San Francisco and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity since 2007. She enjoys traveling, cooking, working out, sports, playing volleyball and watching Notre Dame Football. AJ has traveled extensively throughout the world and speaks several languages. This will be AJ’s fourth Global Village trip as a trip leader.

With a strong interest in learning about cultures and meeting new people, AJ looks forward to forming a diverse Habitat team and helping to create a lifetime of memories for everyone on the team and for the families that we serve.

For more information on this exciting Global Village adventure to Kyrgyzstan, please contact AJ by email at

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

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