US Ambassador in Armenia Mr. John Ordway joins Habitat for HumanityA


June3, 2004

Contact at HFH Armenia:
Zara Tonapetyan
Aygestan 8-th str, h 5,
Yerevan-025, Armenia
Tel: (374 1) 556-114
e-mail: [email protected]

Yerevan, Armenia – June 3, 2004 – US Ambassador in Armenia, Mr. John
Ordway, has joined Habitat for Humanity Armenia local and International
volunteers to build a home in partnership with a disadvantaged family
in the village of Voskehat, Aragatsotn region on June 3, 2004.

Following the tradition of lending a hand to Habitat for Humanity
Armenia, Ambassador Ordway requested the opportunity to join HFH
Armenia local and US volunteers in constructing a house for a needy
Armenian family. With this volunteer effort the Ambassador demonstrated
his good will and commitment to the development of Armenia, and served
as an example to others in the community encouraging them to join
HFH Armenia in its work eliminating sub-standard housing in Armenia
and throughout the world.

Ambassador Ordway first collaborated with HFH Armenia local and
international volunteers to build a home for a disadvantaged family
in the village of Oshakan, Aragatsotn region in August 2002. Later,
in April 2003, he also participated in the dedication ceremony for
the house that he had helped to build.

“This a kind of example, when neither the government helps needy
people, nor the government pays to people to help those in need, but
volunteers come together with needy families and are helping them
to help themselves.” – said Ambassador Ordway speaking of Habitat
mission in the building site.

“I am sure the tradition of lending hands to those in need will
continue and HFH Armenia will attract many more volunteers, following
the illustration by Ambassador Ordway”,– said Executive Director
for Habitat for Humanity Armenia, Ashot Yeghiazaryan.

Habitat for Humanity Armenia is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity
International and supports community development in the Republic of
Armenia by assisting in the construction and renovation of simple,
decent and affordable homes. The purpose of the organization is to help
families in need improve their living conditions, to raise funds to
support the vital work, and to give hope to thousands of people across
the country. The organization was formed in March of 2000 and, to date,
has dedicated 82 homes and given shelter to more than 400 people.

Sub-standard housing is all too common in Armenia. Many families live
in deteriorated housing, in cramped quarters with inadequate water
and heat. HFH Armenia’s selected target group is families living in
substandard, over-crowded and unacceptable living quarters. This group
comprises more than 50-60% of the country’s current population. These
families are unable to purchase their own homes, as they do not have
sufficient income to save to pay for the entire house cost up front,
nor can they risk, or would they be eligible for, a high-interest
loan from a commercial lender.

Habitat for Humanity Armenia has found a way to solve the
problem. Families, with two or three wage earners, pay back a
no-interest loan for a simple, decent, affordable, and healthy home,
and are still able to feed their families. Habitat for Humanity
Armenia is using a combination of two approaches to help Habitat
families solve their housing problems:

1) Completing half-built homes, which are numerous in Armenia. This
approach enables families to fulfill their dream of completing their
own home. Utilizing existing core structure reduces costs and prevents
the disruption of relocating.

2) Purchasing apartments to make use of Armenia’s existing
under-utilized housing stock. Purchased homes are resold at no-profit,
interest-free, to Habitat families who renovate their apartments and
help in the construction of other families’ homes.

To schedule an interview please email Zara Tonapetyan, Communication
Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Armenia [email protected].
See 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 700,000 people of all races,
religions and backgrounds to have a simple, decent and affordable
place to live. Habitat for Humanity has built or renovated more
than 150,000 homes throughout the world, becoming a global leader
in addressing poverty housing. Habitat for Humanity is active in 92
countries worldwide, including 18 in Europe and Central Asia.