Why we do it?
After two years I have decided to get back to GV trips!
Many of you may ask what makes us go to another country to help build houses...
There are several answers to this question; here are some of the reasons:
- We believe from the from the bottom of our hearts that everyone has the right to live in a decent house, we think it is a universal right;
- There is poverty housing in every country;
- We always have an incredible luck in our lives, the least we can do is to contribute to improve the life of someone;
- These trips are an essential support to the Habitat Armenia program, not only help the families we work with but also many more in the future.
These are the main reasons, but many more could be told...
A Global Village trip it’s much more than a week of volunteering, it is a connection that is made with the local community, it is a bound that is created.
All the community is affected by the presence and work of the volunteers. Not only they improve the living conditions of the families, their presence also helps changing mentalities and to increase tolerance...
Both of us work at the Habitat for Humanity Portugal affiliate, we have the privilege to see daily the impact that a decent house has in the life of a family...
Every year hundreds of volunteers come to Portugal to help build houses for needed families that live in substandard housing.
We could not stay indifferent to these examples from GV volunteers, so we decided to get into action and also help to change the life of a family outside Portugal; in this case we are going to Armenia!
It the 5th GV trip that João leads and the debut to Abílio, however both us have a lot of experience in leading volunteers and managing teams.
Housing Need in Armenia
Armenia occupies 29,700,000 square meters and is situated in the northeast Armenian highlands. The Republic of Armenia borders Georgia and Azerbaijan in the north and east, and Turkey and Iran in the west and south. The population is 3.2 million.
Three events have shaped the current housing situation: economic and social transition, including housing privatization; a massive earthquake in 1988; and a large influx of refugees. Because of these factors, more than 50 percent of Armenia’s families in this area live in deteriorated housing with cramped quarters and limited water and heat. Almost every building in the country is considered to be below current safety requirements for earthquakes.
When families are forced to abandon the dream of completing their home due to financial hardship, they often live in the unfinished basement or cellar. This is basically a large hole in the ground with a dirt floor and makeshift roof. Others live in domiks, which are metal containers that were brought to Armenia as part of the relief effort following the devastating 1988 earthquake. Many families have been living in these containers for more than a decade. Domiks are unbearably hot in the summer and only makeshift stoves fight off the extreme cold in winter.
Ninety-six percent of the housing stock in Armenia is privately owned. The four percent of housing remaining in public rental is not targeted to low-income households. The work Habitat is doing in the country is essential to ensuring simple, decent, affordable housing for hundreds of Armenians.
About Habitat for Humanity in Armenia
Habitat for Humanity in Armenia is your source for information about all of Habitat for Humanity's activities in this stunning Caucasus country of 3 million people, about 40 percent of whom live in inadequate shelter.
Habitat for Humanity in Armenia is the new name for Habitat’s presence here. After nearly eight years of work in Armenia, Habitat for Humanity re-launched its country organization in June 2008 to serve more low-income families at an exponentially faster rate.
Habitat for Humanity in Armenia tackles poverty housing through a variety of efforts, including the construction of affordable, efficient houses; the completion of half-built homes; implementation of water and sanitation facilities; advocacy of improved housing policies for low-income families; engagement of volunteers and other like-minded partners; and more. As of 2008, Habitat for Humanity in Armenia had helped nearly 400 families in need in Armenia into safe and secure shelter. Learn more at www.habitat.am.
Global Village is Habitat for Humanity’s international volunteer program. Teams travel to over 40 countries to work alongside communities, build housing solutions, and experience local culture. Our goal is to change the lives of the people we serve, as well as the lives of the volunteers. To join a team or learn more, visit http://www.habitat.org/eurasia/get_involved/global_village.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in nearly 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. and in nearly 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitatemea.org
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