Habitat for Humanity

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Mission Statement: Habitat for Humanity Armenia is a Non-government Charitable organization that supports community development in the Republic of Armenia by assisting in building and renovating simple, decent and affordable homes.


Goal: To help families in need improve their housing conditions, to raise funds to support this vital work, and to give hope to thousands of people. HFH Armenia’s goal is to eliminate substandard housing in Armenia, replacing it with simple, decent and affordable homes.


Need: More than fifty percent of families in HFH Armenia’s focus area live in deteriorated housing with cramped quarters and limited water and heat. Construction on these homes began prior to the severe economic crisis in Armenia and halted after family savings were lost. Once forced to abandon the dream of completing their home, families often dram of completing their home, families often live in an unfinished basement or cellar: basically a large hole in the ground with a dirt floor and makeshift roof. Other families live in “domiks”, or metal containers brought to Armenia as temporary shelter following the devastating 1988 earthquake. Many families have been living in these containers for more than a decade, even though domiks are unbearably hot in the summer and only makeshift stoves fight off the extreme cold in winter. These families are unable to purchase their own homes, as they can neither save the required funds to pay the entire house cost up front, nor can they risk a high-interest loan.


Solution: Habitat has found a way to solve this problem. Families with two or three income earners can pay back a no-interest loan for a simple, decent, affordable, and healthy home, and still be able to feed their families.


Habitat for Humanity Armenia is helping the selected deserving partner families to complete their half-built homes, of which there are many in Armenia. The philosophy of Habitat is to provide a hand up and not a hand out to those in critical housing need.


The identification of the partner families is done by family selection committee, which consists of volunteers and staff members and plays a crucial role to ensure the overall smooth work of the organization. The selection on the basis of the following:


Three basic criteria according to which the families are selected: • Housing need; • Ability to pay on mortgage; • Willingness to partner.


The selection is done on the basis of individual visits and interviews of the potential families. Once the family is selected the construction works begin. Upon the completion the family moves into the new built house and begins paying back on their zero-interest mortgage. All the partner families are participating in HFH Armenia implemented family support programs, which enable them continue developing and become self reliant.


Homes Built: As of July 2006 Habitat for Humanity Armenia has completed 275 homes (half-built homes and renovations), now more than 1000 people live in HFH Armenia homes.


HFH Armenia Sponsorship Costs

Half Built House $9040
Roof $2200
Interior Walls $1200
Lavatory and San.$1100
All WIndows $750
All Doors $800
Painting $550
One Inside door $150




PRESS RELEASE
June26, 2005

Contact at HFH Armenia:
Haykuhi Khachatryan
Aygestan 8-th str, h 5,
Yerevan-025, Armenia
Tel: (374 10) 556-114
e-mail: haykuhi@hfharmenia.org

For the 22nd annual Jimmy Carter Work Project (JCWP), held in Benton Harbor and Detroit Michigan June 19- 24, 2005 Armenia was selected as a partner country.


In conjunction with the Jimmy Carter Work Project to take place in Michigan U.S.A., Armenia has organized several special Building events: with the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, the Embassy of the United States in Armenia and, the Armenian Church leaders serving in Armenia in particular with the Aragatsotn Diocese.

"Building a House, a Community and, a Motherland" this is the slogan which led each person to participate in the Habitat volunteer movement taking place from June 20 - 22 in Armenia.

In the idea of volunteerism there is no politicians, it is just an idea around which people come together to help each other, to help those in need.

On June 20 Ararat region in Nor Kharberd National Assembly of Armenia (about 20 people) including president of National Assembly Arthur Baghdasaryan made opening of volunteer-building movement in Armenia.

"It is very important for us to get involved in the idea to help those in need" said Artur Baghdasaryan the president of National Assembly " I have never done so much for any construction, but today it is a very special day and we all are very excited to have our contribution in changing families lives

June 21 followed with USA Ambassador in Armenia John Evans and some staff members (about 20 people), who joined these buildings events to have their contribution in Kotayk region village Mayakovski.

"In my country we used to help those in need. Habitat for Humanity gives us a great opportunity to manage time and be next the families who need our care said John Marshal Evans US ambassador in Armenia "This is one of those organizations which affiliated approximately all over the world, and it means that one being in any part of the world could find a place to make his/her volunteer contribution.

Whole day long the ambassador was working in the sweat of his brow shoulder to shoulder with the homeowner and very excited of such an expressive idea of helping those in need.

To bless all the works had been done before and to join all the volunteers on June 22 Very Rev. Father Torgom monk Tonikyan vicar of the Aragatsotn dioceses with a group of priests from Aragatsotn dioceses and Yerevan came to build with homeowners. This build day was concurrent with the building events in Michigan where the Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians His Holiness Catholicos Garegin II has participated.

"To lend a helping hand to those in need is the moral of Christianity, never forget about them and always find a place in our prayers for those in needs" said Father Torgom. "Today we found time for not only praying but also being next to them, and we also know that today nearly 6000 people came together for the same idea, then let's help those in need.

The participation of NA Speaker and MPs, USA Embassy, the Aragatsotn dioceses in this project is a good example for others to support homeless families. These were of those days when one could feel him/herself a part of a whole, where regardless of geographical place you are involved in one idea to help those in need.

To schedule an interview please email Haykuhi Khachatryan, Communication Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Armenia haykuhi @ hfharmenia.org. See www.hfharmenia.org for more information.

Founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International is a non-denominational Christian, non-governmental, non-profit housing organization that has helped more than 1000,000 people of all races, religions and backgrounds to have a simple, decent and affordable place to live. Habitat for Humanity becomes a global leader in addressing poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity is active in 100 countries worldwide, including 19 in Europe and Central Asia.

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