Habitat Expands into 50th Nation: Romania
November 18, 1996 - Habitat for Humanity continues to expand its work to eliminate substandard housing globally. At the October meeting of Habitat for Humanity International's Board of Directors in Chicago, Illinois, board members named Romania as the 50th country to welcome Habitat for Humanity.
The town of Beius and city of Arad were approved for affiliation. National coordinator, Adrian Ciorna of Romania, and Denise Lowery of the United States worked for a year to establish Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country. Construction will begin on two houses in Beius in the Fall of 1996 and another two houses in Arad in the Spring of 1997.
"Romania has been through a very traumatic time over the last few years since the fall of Ceaucescu", said David Gifford, Habitat's Director for Europe. "We are so pleased that Habitat is working with good people in Beius and Arad to bring the hope of Habitat for Humanity in the provision of simple, decent affordable housing."
Adrian Ciorna, National Coordinator in Romania, indicates that he would like to see, "Habitat's work in this 50th country serve as a gift to God and a wonderful ministry to low-income Romanian families".
Beius is a town of 12,000 in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Northwest Romania. The economy of the area is based largely on agriculture with some processing industries. Situated in Western Romania on a rich agricultural plain, Arad is a city of approximately 200,000 residents. The city is settled largely by Romanians, Germans and Hungarians.
Although today a democratic governmental system exists in Romania after years of Communist rule, the poverty and underdevelopment of the past remain. Many people are in need of adequate housing. Churches, individuals, local enterprises and local governments have come together in partnership to welcome and encourage the introduction of Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty housing from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. There are now more than 1,300 affiliates in the United States and over 200 international affiliates coordinating some 800 building projects in over 50 nations around the world. To date, Habitat has built over 50,000 homes worldwide.