UK Amb Abott-Watt and female officials joined Habitat for Humanity

For immediate release
June 29, 2004

Contact at HFH Armenia:
Zara Tonapetyan
Aygestan 8-th str, h 5,
Yerevan-070, Armenia
Tel: (374 1) 556-114
e-mail: [email protected]

The UK Ambassador to Armenia Ms. Thorda Abott-Watt and other Armenian
and Armenian resident female officials joined Habitat for Humanity Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia – June29, 2004 – UK Ambassador to Armenia, Ms. Thorda
Abbott-Watt, the president of the Diplomatic Spouse Association Mrs. Nani
Oskanian, The Armenian Assembly of America’s Acting Executive Director Arpi
Vartanian, the deputy minister of Culture and Youth affairs Lilit Asatryan.
Armenia Legislative Strengthening Program Director Eleanor Valentine,
representative of ministry of Urban Development Sona Matevosyan and other
Armenian and Armenian resident women-officials have 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 29, 2004 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This time Habitat for Humanity Armenia was hosting a Global Village team,
consisting only of women. These teams are called Women Build teams. The
mission of the Women Build department of Habitat for Humanity International
is to work through affiliates to nurture, recruit and train women to build
simple, decent, healthy and affordable houses. Women Build brings together
women from all walks of life to actively address the problem of children in
poverty by building Habitat for Humanity houses. Safe, decent housing is
critical to a child’s health and development, yet children are the single
largest age group living in poverty. The Women Build program is expanding
internationally with women crews building houses all over the world.

The Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Armenia, Ms. Thorda Abbott-Watt and
other female high ranking officials joined the Women Build team to help
build for the family of Tonoyan’s. With this volunteer effort they hope to
demonstrate their good will and commitment to the development of Armenia,
and serve 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.
<a quote>
The event is aimed to encourage the involvement of woman in the construction
of Habitat homes. The need for the adequate shelter is great in Armenia,
but it can be met. Women can be a part of the solution – one house, one
family at a time. Women Build challenges and empowers women to build safe,
healthy housing where children can flourish and grow to be all that they can

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 473 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.

For more information please email Zara Tonapetyan, Communication Coordinator
for Habitat for Humanity Armenia [email protected]. See also

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 100
countries worldwide, including 19 in Europe and Central Asia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress