Do you enjoy international travel for a meaningful purpose? Are you a person who measures success by deeds? Can you exchange 10 days of your life for a life-changing experience? If you said yes to these questions we urge you to join us as we visit Comanesti, Romania in support of Habitat’s worldwide mission to eradicate substandard housing from the face of the earth. Participants interested in joining this team should be aware that this will be a build focused trip and are encouraged to do sightseeing before or after the trip dates. The team will also spend as much time with the local families, volunteers and affiliate supporters as is possible during the 10-day trip.
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, with 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.
Comanesti is located in an area originally settled by religious and political refugees, near the former Austro-Hungarian border with the Moldovan part of Romania. This medium-size town, in a wine-growing region of the Carpathian Mountains, offers magnificent scenery and abundant outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, swimming and mountain biking. Another attraction is the local health spas, which include the largest underground sanatorium in Europe. A hilltop monastery overlooks the main road into town, and a summer palace, now dedicated to the display of fine and applied art, is situated near the center. While the area experienced tremendous growth in the 1950s, regional craftspeople still use traditional techniques to make carpets, pottery and wooden gates.
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.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity Romania visit www.habitat.ro.
Day 1 (Saturday): Depart for Romania.
Day 2 (Sunday): Arrival in Bucharest, Romania; transfer to host affiliate, orientation.
Days 3-8 Work days (Monday-Saturday): 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; walking tour of host city. Farewell dinner on day 8.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week: cultural experiences with host program staff, such as market tours, museum visits, etc.
Day 9 (Sunday): Travel to Bucharest, Romania; free time; final team dinner.
Day 10 (Monday): Departure day.
Teams traveling to Comanesti, Romania should expect to stay in a modest guest house or hotel with double- or triple- occupancy rooms and shared bath. Meals are usually taken at local restaurants or prepared by the team. The first and last nights the team will stay at a hotel in Bucharest, Romania, sharing double-occupancy rooms with a private bath.
(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!
Jack Norris and Charlie Buracker have led GV teams to the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Poland and Portugal. They focus on the build aspect of every trip and immersion into the local culture by spending as much time as is possible with the locals they meet while on the build.
At home, Jack produces training videos for a major metropolitan fire department in South Florida. He also volunteers for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity in Palm Beach County. Jack gets satisfaction from this work by being able to see his accomplishments at the end of every workday.
In between build trips, Charlie works as a professional mason in Virginia. He takes great pride in in his work at home and on the road. Charlie enjoys the excitement of international travel with a purpose and is always impressed by the diversity of the teams he travels with.