By Elizabeth Gemdjian
Building houses under the hot Armenian summer sun can be grueling. Doing so without compensation is incomprehensible to many.
Yet this is exactly how some volunteers have chosen to spend their time in Armenia.
The Fuller Center for Housing Armenia hosts teams of volunteers, or Global Builders, who come to Armenia in two-week intervals to work with families needing assistance and funding to complete their home-building and renovation projects. Fuller Center offers families interest-free, (up to $10,000) long-term loans (the loan have to be repaid in 7-10 years) as well as volunteer labor. The family works alongside the volunteers and pays back manageable loans, retaining an active role in bettering their standard of living while also receiving much-needed assistance. Moreover, the family’s repayments fund projects for other families as part of a revolving fund that makes for sustainable community development.