Global Builders – Armenia

Global Builders Armenia

Many nations receive the moniker of having “rich history”, but Armenia is in a class all its own. Situated in the vibrant cultural estuary that is the South Caucasus region, Armenia began it’s political history as the Satrapy of Armenia in the 6th century BC. In 301 AD it became the first officially Christian nation in history, with the Armenian Apostolic church producing countless theological, literary, and artistic works over the centuries. Armenians have faced countless invading armies, upheavals, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and, during WWI, the horrific Armenian genocide.

Despite the wealth of culture and history, there is still tremendous need and Armenia is currently classified as a development nation. Approximately 65,000 families are in need of housing in Armenia, with many living in metal shipping containers called “domics” or living in the basements of half built houses due to not being able to finish them because of the sudden economic downturn in the 1990s. Since the launch of the Fuller Center Armenia in 2008, they have been able to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing to more than 630 families!

Irind village, homeowner relative with AGBU volunteer

Getting Involved

There are several ways that you can get involved:

  • Donate to support this specific partner. Houses cost money to build, so any donation is always helpful!
  • Volunteer on one of our Global Builders teams, which you can learn more about below. You’ll travel to Haiti and get to know the local people and traditions while you partner with families to complete a home.
  • Join a virtual volunteer team, choosing to donate your travel costs instead of making the trip in person. This is the perfect way to stay involved and give back during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Renovation Cost: $2,900

House Completion Cost: $10,500

Upcoming Trips

Click on the leader’s name to learn more about the leader and trip details. Click “Join” to apply for their trip. Have a spot reserved on a “Full” trip? Complete your registration here. Or learn about sending funds to support local labor by joining as a virtual participant.

We invite you to join us to see the country and lend your hands to families working hard to have a decent place to live. Fuller Center Armenia is led and organized by Armenians, so they know the land and will make you feel right at home. More than only volunteering, our trips to Armenia include touring and are a full cultural experience! Participants will have the unique opportunity to work side by side with the homeowners and other locals to build these new homes.

Many partner families in Armenia live in domics, metal shipping containers. Others began building a house they were not able to finish after a sudden economic downturn hit in the 1990s and often live in the basements of such houses. Other problems often seen include asbestos, leaky roofs, overcrowding, lack of sanitation, and lack of heating systems.

These are all problems FCH Armenia helps to fix by building new homes, finishing half-built houses, or completing repairs through the Greater Blessing program. The safe, simple, comfortable homes are renovated or built with, and for, low-income families in Armenia using interest-free loans. The monthly repayments flow into a “revolving fund” and are used to help more families, thereby providing the financial foundation for a sustainable community development effort. Since we began partnering together in 2008, the more than 580 families that we have assisted in communities across the country make it our largest project around the world. This was achieved through numerous partnerships with the likes of the Armenian Church through the blessing of its Supreme Patriarch His Holiness Karekin II and other agencies and companies.

Learn more Fuller Center Armenia has its own website at: www.fullercenterarmenia.org

What is a trip like?

Each trip to Armenia will be with a group of mission-minded volunteers – typically 8-20 total – who want to experience the world, meet new people, and make a difference. No skills required. Trips typically last 12-16 days and include sight-seeing.

  • 8:30 – Breakfast
  • 9:00 – Depart for work site
  • 10:00 – Start work
  • 1:00 – Lunch
  • 3:45 – Coffee break
  • 5:00 – Leave work-site
  • 7:30 – Dinner in restaurant

No construction skills are necessary. We will be building primarily with concrete and ‘tufa,’ which is a volcanic stone indigenous to Armenia.

Global Builders construction includes mainly: mixing sand and cement, pouring water, preparing the mixture and carrying with buckets (as light as possible), carrying tufa blocks, plastering and painting the walls, sanding windows, doors and walls, and preparing an insulation layer for the roof. Fuller Center Armenia will provide house leaders who will always be available to give help and guidance to the participants. An English speaking staff or a volunteer will be available at the site. For more details read Fuller Center Armenia’s Global Builders FAQs.

We have a few different build locations in Armenia, so the exact lodging option will depend on what city your team is based in. Accommodations are double to triple occupancy rooms with private baths in a hotel. Breakfast will be served in the hotel. Lunches will be taken at the building site, and dinners at various local restaurants. The hotels are simple, but have the basic amenities.

FCH Armenia has their own vehicles to provide transportation to and from the worksites and the airport. The major cities also have reliable public transportation such as taxis and buses, in case participants wish to go exploring during their free time.

Each Armenian hotel we use provides bed linens and towels, but we recommend you bring your own washcloth if you’d like one. Weather can get cold in Armenia, so a jacket and long pants could be necessary, depending on the time of year. A full packing list is provided in the Guidebook you’ll receive upon registration.

R&R opportunities are abundant and varied in Armenia. Most teams take at least a few days to enjoy the cultural, environmental, and historical riches available to you. Historical sites, outdoor activities, and markets are all available in abundance. are all available in abundance.

Prices vary based on team size and trip duration, but the cost for a standard 14-day trip to Armenia is between $1,500 and $2,000. That price covers lodging, local transportation including airport pick-up, three meals per day, bottled water, travel health insurance, and a contribution toward building materials. The fee does not cover airfare, R&R activities, or tips. We will work out a more accurate price after you submit your trip proposal.

Are you unsure of how to prepare for such an experience or just looking for some tips on how to be better prepared? If so, we suggest you take a look at our Trip Preparation page where you will find a lot of helpful information and links – Preparing For Your Trip!

Pricing – What’s included?

Team MaterialsFuller Center hat, t-shirt, country guidebook, fundraising guide, & more
Trip SupportEasy contact with Team Leader and Global Builders staff
Food and Drink3 meals a day provided by safe, sanitary local vendors
TransportationTo and from work sites and airport
LodgingA hotel near the worksites
Travel InsuranceCurrently provided by Core Travel Insurance. Contact GB staff for details
Life-changing workAlongside your teammates and the homeowners!

What happens after the trip?

Even after you return, your trip can have a sustained impact on both you and the community in which you served! 
Learn how on our Country Champions page.

A standard domic home
A standard FCH home

Learn the Basics – Area Info

Language:
Armenian (Official) 97.9%, Other 2.1%
Age Structure:
0-14 years 19%, 15-24 years 13.58%, 25-54 years 43.46% 55+ years 23.96%
Population:
3,051,250 (2016 est.)
Life Expectancy: 74.6 years (Male 71.4, Female 78.3)
Climate:
Avg. Daytime High: June 80-90, July-August 90-100
Currency:
Dram (AMD) $1USD = 478 Drams
Literacy Rate:
99.7% (Male 99.7%, Female 99.6%)
Ethnic Groups:
Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi 1.1%, Other 5%
Religion:
Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, Other 5.3%, None 1.1%