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Volunteers to help build Armenia homes

FRESNO, Calif. | July 17, 2005 4:11:24 AM IST

A delegation from Habitat for Humanity Armenia held two forums in Fresno, Calif., to raise U.S. awareness about the housing crisis in Armenia.

The 1988 earthquake in Armenia left 500,000 homeless, and the Azerbaijani war — combined with the collapse of the former Soviet regime — has resulted in 40 percent of the country living in substandard housing.

Thousands of Armenians still live in metal domiks, iron containers erected for temporary quake relief that act like refrigerators in the winter and boilers in the summer, according T.J. Cox, project manager for the Fresno Habitat affiliate and a professional engineer.

Cox plans to lead a group from Fresno to Vanadzor, Armenia, from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8 to help build homes in the Lori region, about two hours from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia.

Building will be done primarily with concrete and toof, a volcanic stone indigenous to Armenia.

Habitat for Humanity Armenia has been working with families since 2000, providing homes for more than 600 people.

(UPI)

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