Samsung C&T employees from Korea volunteers to support 90 Vietnamese families by building them homes

20 volunteers of Samsung C&T employees in Korea participated in the housing construction of Habitat for Humanity Vietnam (Habitat Vietnam) in Phu Cuong commune, Dai Tu district, Thai Nguyen province. From Oct. 27- Nov. 1, the volunteers participated in building homes, with home owners, and concluded the event with an open house event inviting key government officials as well as Samsung C&T Mr. Soon-ho Yang, Habitat Vietnam National Director Ms. Bells Regino-Borja and Habitat for Humanity Korea.
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The program is aimed at improving living condition of 90 households living with less than 700,000 Vietnamese Dong a month. Their residences are also in need of improvement for safety and security reasons.
Samsung C&T has been supporting Habitat Vietnams community project in Thai Nguyen through Samsung Village #7 project. This time, the employee-volunteers will be committed to improving the residence of Hoa’s family.
Then later, Samsung C&T will support building housing for another 89 households in the community, with the beneficiaries also participating in the building process. Samsung C&T will also dispatch employees as safety trainers in order to provide safety guideline and training before the building begins.
Another importance is the improvement of hygiene in the community. Samsung Village #7 has vigorously adopted the WASH initiative, which is to raise awareness about water sanitation and hygiene; provide easy access to clean water; build latrines and other water facilities; as well as classify, collect and treat domestic waste in order to build resilience against natural disasters. Under the initiative, 3 latrines and 2 sewage systems will be established, while training about the hygiene will be provided alongside at schools.
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“Samsung C&T’s support for Habitat for Humanity Vietnam’s work is emphasized in this opportune time when we are celebrating the World Habitat Day throughout this month of October.  It is a chance to highlight our commitment to increase housing quality and affordability for Vietnamese communities.  Aside from supporting our housing projects, Samsung C&T joins our partner communities in build homes for the most vulnerable, just like what they are doing this week.  We hope that more and more companies will join us in building strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter,” National Director of Habitat Vietnam Ms. Bells Regino-Borja shared.
Samsung C&T has partnered with Habitat Vietnam since 2016 through Samsung Village community development projects, aimed at reinforcing strength, stability and self-reliance by building shelters.
Launched in May 2019, Samsung Village #7 aims to benefit around 3,000 people with improved housing conditions and WASH facilities, building community capacity and sensibility on domestic waste management, water and sanitation, and construction safety and techniques. Other notable Samsung villages in Vietnam include Samsung Village #3 in Thai Nguyen and Samsung Village #4 in Ha Tinh.
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“We are happy and proud to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam in improving the living condition of the Phu Cuong residents,” said Mr. Yang Soon Ho, Director of at Samsung C&T, said. “As with the previous Samsung C&T villages we have built across with Asia, we hope that this project would also build the foundation for the less privileged people to tackle poverty and improve their lives,” he said.

Leading oneself to lead others: The passion for serving the community

 
 “The reason why I have guided my students to join Habitat for Humanity is because I hope that they will develop a passion for serving their community,” shares Ms Sophie Hoang, a teacher at the Canadian International School in Vietnam.
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Habitat for Humanity Club members at Canada International School. 

Ms Sophie has joined the team of teachers and students in supporting Habitat Vietnam and homeowners since 2014. The idea of partnering with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Vietnam came from a group of Grade 9 students who heard of Habitat for Humanity’s volunteer mobilization program and who had a strong desire in lending a hand. 
Ms Sophie started working for the Canadian International School (CIS) in Vietnam in 2013 and got involved with HFH in 2014. “The HFH project started with a group of five grade 9 students who heard of Habitat Vietnam and who wanted to help. The students were looking for a teacher who would work with them and I wanted to be involved,” shares Ms Sophie, the teacher-advisor of the HFH club at CIS.
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Ms. Sophie and her team.

The primary focus of the group was to raise awareness within the school and the community about the issue of poverty in Vietnam. They did that by going out to the community and introducing facts about the poverty situation while interviewing the locals. They also ran school assemblies and simulations during conferences and conveyed their message on social media. Later on, they collaborated with Habitat Vietnam to launch their first fundraising campaign, thus taking part of Habitat Young Leaders Build campaign. It is also at that time that they created the HFH club at CIS.
Since its beginning, the HFH club has successfully conducted two major fundraising campaigns. Each fundraising campaign takes about seven months to complete. The students themselves plan the campaign and carry it out. In five years, the HFH club at CIS has managed to raise enough funds to build three houses for the low-income families of Vietnam.  
“It is very humbling to see what the youth can do and the passion that they have to make a difference. A lot of effort and time are put in each fundraising campaign because we create activities that involve the community. It could be easier to just ask for donations but we don’t do it that way. We come up with activities, games, school events for the entire community to participate in. In that way, everyone gets to hear about the work of Habitat Vietnam and gets a deeper understanding about the issue. It’s also important for me that my students take the lead in running the campaigns. When the students understand the end goal, which is to take a family out of poverty by providing a decent house for them, they become committed to the cause. Every time we finish a campaign and we reach our financial goal, the students feel so proud of themselves. But the most impactful moment is when they get to meet the families they have been helping. When we go on a house build, the students get a real understanding of how privileged they are and they better understand what helping the community means,”says Sophie. “My goal is to guide my students in living a life that is turned towards others and I can say that I’m proud of them. I couldn’t have asked for better students. Supporting Habitat Vietnam couldn’t have been done without them.”
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11% of Vietnamese families still live under the poverty line and face daily challenges that most people are not aware of. For example, those families do not have access to clean water or clean toilets.  When CIS students go to a house build, they work and interact with the homeowners. They discover where the families live and learn about their living conditions. Often times, this experience is by itself eye opening. It gives the students a real understanding of inequality. Furthermore, the physical work that goes into a house build is a real challenge for the students. 
The house build is a testament of the HFH club members’ work and effort throughout the year. This allows the generous donors to see how their financial contributions are being used. Hence, a lot more students join the club every year. “We present the project and if the students are interested, then they join the club. Motivation is key. If the students are motivated and own the project, then they will do it. Nothing will work well without passion,” Ms Sophie says. Thu Quynh, a grade 12 student, adds “I think this is a significant field trip because the donors are able to understand how their donations go to the beneficiaries and notice which developmental areas the students are contributing to the community. I think students like us can have a better insight of our resources and then with our resources, we start to help the other people who are underprivileged in Vietnam. […] From the trip, I understand that we have to build a good system of non-profit management in order to help others in an effective way.”
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In the end, what the HFH club members and their teacher-advisor hope for is to “support the underprivileged families to attain a better future.” That has been the drive of the HFH club since 2014. 
To follow their stories, follow them on Habitat for Humanity Vietnam at CIS

"With tools, we build houses. With love, we build homes", called out by UNIS volunteers

In this year’s World Habitat Day, Habitat Vietnam has a companion, United Nations International School’s 90 teachers and students to altogether shared the sweats and efforts to build 5 houses for the vulnerable families in Dai Tu District, Thai Nguyen Province and shared the best wishes to not only the homeowners during the build but also everyone to have a decent place to live. Habitat Vietnam and UNIS joined with our partners, friends and families around the world to rededicate ourselves to recognizing the basic rights to adequate shelter.
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Indeed, everyone deserves a decent place to live and has a right to have a place to shelter themselves and their beloved families. A safe place is a decent place which “is like a platform, when you are there with your friends and family. Once you have a decent house and your family and friends are there with you, you actually enjoy the moment. You don’t have to worry about rain and natural disaster”, shared Minh, grade 12, from UNIS.
Everyone has a yearning for a safe, cozy home with full of joy and pleasure, whether it’s temporary or long lasting. After all, we fall for home because that’s the only nest we stop by, rest, and recharge our energy before facing life challenges. More or less, it’s still the essential foundation that protects, nurtures and fosters every individual and more broadly, pay vital importance to shape the society’s future by benefiting every element in it.
That is why Habitat sees home as a driving force to build a qualified life and thus, reinforce the community to take action. Driven by the vision and mission set by our incredible co-founder Mr. and Mrs. Fuller, Habitat Vietnam also proactively put our strategy into action through housing improvements; water and sanitation solutions; disaster risk reduction & climate change adaptation; and volunteer mobilization.
To date Habitat Vietnam has served over 16,000 families and 138,000 individuals through projects cover 9 provinces, namely Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap province.
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However, there are more housing needs in Vietnam than you can imagine.

  • 9 million Vietnamese still live in extreme poverty below poverty line of 700,000 VND (US$30)/person with 4 people in a family
  • 9% of 96.6 million Vietnamese is recorded to need safe, quality and affordable housing. Among them, people living in poverty, migrant workers, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities are facing the most urgent housing needs.
  • By 2049, 14 million new urban households will not be able to afford to purchase small modern permanent units and unable to qualify for housing loans.
  • Urban population is 37% (35.7 million people), 20% live in slums needing access to improved water, access to improved sanitation, enough living area, and durability of housing
  • Asbestos is still widely used in homes
  • Vietnam is highly exposed to droughts, floods, forest fires, landslides, sea water intrusion, tsunami, and typhoon. Its 3,200 km coastline crosses 28 provinces, 50% include major urban centers.
  • 90% of the rural population dispose waste in open areas, causing environmental pollution and health problems.

We could not achieve our goals without the community-driven pioneers. On World Habitat Day, we seek your attention and participation to make a positive change in Vietnam.
Let’s build a unified voice amplifying the importance of housing for all!

Multi-sectoral collaboration is imperative to closing Asia-Pacific’s massive housing gap

The Asia-Pacific Housing Forum, organized by global housing organization Habitat for Humanity and its partners will take place once again in Thailand from September 16-19, 2019.
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With the theme – “Powering collaboration for housing impact,” this year’s Housing Forum aims to harness partnerships to advance housing as a driver of sustainable development. Housing is a key contributor to achieving positive outcomes around global goals related to water and sanitation, health and well-being, education and livelihood, gender equality, climate action and disaster resilience.
Rick Hathaway, Vice President for Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity said, “I am always energized by the sharing of new ideas and best practices during the Asia-Pacific Housing Forum. This year, we want to drive our collective impact on housing to the next level through the synergy of partnerships and collaboration. Together, we can truly influence the way public, private and civil society sectors address housing challenges at the local and regional levels.”
Now on its seventh run, the biennial Asia Pacific Housing Forum has established itself as a melting pot of ideas and best practices from housing and development practitioners, many of which are brought for discussion in other regional and global initiatives. The Forum’s call to leverage public, private and civil society cooperation as a critical component for the acceleration of sustainable housing initiatives, takes its cue from the Kuala Lumpur Declaration at the 9th World Urban Forum, which also reiterated the need for multi- stakeholder coalitions for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
Happening in Bangkok, Thailand on September 16-19, the four-day conference is expected to draw over 400 participants from the region and around the world. In the lead up to the forum, six preliminary events will be held in Bangladesh, New Zealand, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India and the Philippines from April to July.
The seventh Asia-Pacific Housing Forum will feature four main tracks:
Impact to the max: Through impact investing and market-based solutions, businesses are creating new opportunities for innovative partnerships to bring affordable housing solutions to scale, as firms pursue the triple bottom line: positive social impact, positive environmental contributions, and good financial performance.
Promoting inclusion amidst rapid urbanization: Improving inclusive access to adequate and affordable housing is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the New Urban Agenda. The track will discuss housing and development challenges in urban and rural contexts, and appropriate local strategies and interventions.
Fostering resilient cities and communities: Amid increasing threats brought by climate change, there is a need to examine the issues and explore ways in which safe, secure housing can help communities mitigate disaster risks and build long-term resilience.
Responsive housing technologies: Advancement in technologies can benefit families in need of adequate, affordable housing, adding value to housing policies and interventions that serve the pressing needs of the most vulnerable.
For more information, please visit the website here.
Source: www.aphousingforum.org.

A house to cherish hopes

“Not many strangers are willing to give you 50 million Dong (around 2,143 USD) to support you with building a house without giving a single request to benefit them, especially in Vietnam’s rural areas,” shares Hai.
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Hai, 38, and his little family with his wife Huong, 35, son Tien, 8, and daughter Duyen, 11 had been living in a shabby house with a bathroom shared with his parents. The house size was similar to his newly constructed one but it was stuffier as there are many unusable furniture and many people staying inside while the space was compressed.
“’Of course, the new house is more spacious because that’s our own house of 4 family members. It looks more solid and open space of bright colors,” shares Hai. Back to roughly a year ago, Hai and his family used to live in a 36-square-meter house covered by iron sheets. The old house is more like a temporary shelter than a house. The roof is made of tile and the walls were constructed out of iron sheets without sturdy bricks or a proper door. As a mason Hai felt upset that he could not improve his own home despite his skillful hands. That is why the joy amidst surprise of receiving new house bloomed when they were going to have a new house built by Australian volunteers. “Not many strangers are willing to give you 50 million Dong (around 2,143 USD) to support you with building a house, especially in Vietnam’s rural areas without giving a single request to benefit them,” says Hai. “The volunteers were very proactive, they worked enthusiastically to finish the house. If you have a chance to meet the team, please send my best regards to them”.
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Living in a new place equipped with enough facilities, one bathroom inside the house and two spacious bedrooms, Hai could not expect anything more from the volunteers. However, from their side, they want to improve the facilities to make the house to be more flood-resistant. “Now we do not have to put much efforts for preparedness whenever disaster arrives, especially when the flood submerged our small humble town,” says Hai. Thanks to the floor built much higher than the ground, water level submerging into his house is lower than ever before. Hai recalls whenever the flood arose, most lands were soaked into the water and the track were earthed with dirty mud because the family were living in the hollowed area. Now they are no longer plagued by worries because of the flood flowing into their house. However, currently their livestock shed beside the house is still very muddy after the rain, which is a bit unpleasant. In overall, the family cherishes every happy moment staying together in the new house and has no decision of moving away. “Ever since the house was built, I have seen many frequent smiles from my parents. Before that, their faces had rarely showed a bright smile,” says Duyen.
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Hai’s family

To resist the storm, Hai decided to build a small concrete attic even though it would cost him more. As a mason, he wants the best living quality for his family. By the time the interview took place, Huong had faced some financial loss of selling the livestock because Vietnam was in the midst of the African pig plague outbreak. Thus, their total monthly income is currently only 4 million Dong (171 USD). Sometimes when Hai and Huong  have extra work and come home late Duyen and Tien have to stay alone at home for a while but the children shared that they don’t feel as scared as before. “Whenever there are no adults at home, just lock the door and stay inside. Everything will be alright”, says Duyen.

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At the moment, Hai still seeks community’s support on his children’s education and to weigh down his burdens whilst the family is still in the penury. However, they hope that everything is going to be better soon. “I am still trying my best to give what is best to my children even though sometimes there are tiring days of manual labor. I hope their future will be brighter through proper education,” says Hai. Hai is very proud of his daughter because her performance at school is very impressive. To improve her awareness about water-sanitation-hygiene practice, Duyen often attend the campaign at school and understand clearly about how to maintain hygienic practice on a daily basis. “I know how to distinct between dirty and clean water. I also know that whenever we get home or before eating, we should always wash our hands properly”, smiles Duyen. “I love to become a teacher in the future while my little brother wants to be a police officer”.
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The driving purpose back to Vietnam after nine years (Alanna's narrative)

9 years ago, Alanna and her schoolmates had came and built a house together with Hoa’s family members in My Tho City, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. 9 years later, she and her sister Megan were on the way back to the town in which she used to be so close with the family and the local neighborhood. 
Today was a day I had been dreaming about for nine long years because I got to go back to the house our Habitat for Humanity team helped build in My Tho, Tien Giang Province, Vietnam. Meg and I took a bus from HCMC with Habitat Vietnam’s staff, Hong, a communication officer, alongside the trip as translator. Since the government officials, other habitat staff and the homeowner couldn’t speak any English we were really glad to have her with us. I also was able to get a new Habitat for Humanity Vietnam T-shirt through Hong.
After a couple hours driving south we arrived at a government office in My Tho, where a coordinator who worked with part of the DSBNi team (District School Board of Niagara’s International) during my build trip met us, along with two government officials who escorted us to the home.
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Photo in 2010.

We walked only a few minutes from the government building down an unfamiliar street.  Everything had developed so much in this area since I was here at last it was hard to recognize. I never would have found the home without them. The roads and walkways had been paved with cement where there use to be dirt and grass. Walking down the alleyway to the house, I saw where it use to be open with room to build had all been developed into more cement houses. When I finally saw the home I was overcome with emotion. Seeing the homeowner so happy in her home was incredible.
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When we arrived she graciously put out chairs for us and told us to sit. She was so cute and looked so happy to see us, she is 68 years old now, with 3 sons and grandchildren who are around 20.
When my team finished working on her house nine years ago we presented her and her husband a photo we’d taken with her standing in front of the wall next to her house. She showed me she still had the faded photo in the gold frame and she pointed to me in the photo. In the new photo of her and I, the wall to the right is the same wall which the original picture was taken.
The homeowner told us that she use to sell lottery tickets but then had to stop when her husband got sick, so she could look after him. She also told us about her husband getting sick and that he had passed away three years ago. She asked if I was married and I said not yet, she was happy and said good don’t do it. She kept looking at Meg, and we soon realized why, as we were told she said Meg was pretty like a doll. She also told us to wear face masks to protect our skin from the sun here. I guess she was worried for our pale skin. She kept thanking me for coming back, and said to pass along the thank you to my other teammates and to my mom for letting me go!
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Megan (on the left) and Alanna (on the right) joined with Hoa in the photo. 

I showed her all the pictures I had on my phone from my time there and she asked if I still had the same phone from 9 years ago, the others had to explain how phone photo storage works. I showed her pictures of the children who I spent my time with there but she said she didn’t recognize them. Until I asked the translator, Hong, to ask her a specific little girl named Ellen. She corrected Hong’s pronunciation of the girls name and said she moved far away about 3km. I didn’t see any kids running around the houses like when I was there, all of the empty space between the houses has been developed and apparently there is a lot of new people living in this area.
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When I last saw the home the walls weren’t complete, the floor was dirt and it had a makeshift tin roof. Now with fully constructed walls decorated with family pictures and a tiled floor, it was almost hard to recognize. Flowers hung in her doorway to celebrate the mid-year. I recognized the window shutters as the ones they made me pretend to sand for a picture. They are now painted blue along with the door. Inside she had a large wooden TV cabinet that displayed pictures of her family and Buddha. Next to the cabinet was a shrine with a fish tank on top that was lit up and with overflowing large goldfish. A poster size picture of her and her late husband, who passed away three years ago, hung next to a photo of her smiling at the beach. The room had a red and gold color scheme with a hammock hanging in the corner. A small opening in the wall led to her bedroom in the back, where she had her older dog tied up and a bird cage.
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Next to the house was the empty factory building that we used to eat in everyday for lunch, the large building looked the same from what I could tell peering in the doorway. Today we saw it being used as a candy making facility.
We thanked her for letting us visit and gave her some cookies and dried fruit as a thank you gift. We wished we could’ve stayed longer to visit with her. I spent as long as I could there looking around the other areas where I used to play with the little kids. Some buildings were the same but the mud and grass areas were missing.
Some photos taken during the build in 2010:
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The Driving Purpose Back to Vietnam After 9 Years

It has been nine years long since the day Alanna and her team were on a special excursion with community-contributing activities in My Tho City, Tien Giang District.
Up till now, profound changes have taken place in the area which used to be full of mud and sand on the earthy track leading to the house. Walking across the street and the spacious alley at present, we both had eyes wide open to see the town was so placid yet filled with semi-detached houses and cemented pathways.
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“It’s so different when we were here 9 years ago. When our team arrived, there were just a few houses in the area. Now it’s filled with a whole populated community with wholesome atmosphere”, shares Alanna (26). On the trip back to Vietnam this time, she accompanied with her younger sister Megan (19) and determined to have three-day stay in My Tho province. Simultaneously, it is favorable for her to take the time visiting the house she and her colleagues contributed to constructing in 2010. According to Alanna, this return in 2019 was meant to be an opportunity to discover the ‘timeless charm’ of Vietnam in which she has never had time travelling during the build, and find the neighborhood and the house that welcomed her team.
The house is still situated on the same land without any expansion or certain changes in the structure. The only profound changes are the community and concrete facilities around the house. Their livelihood is better than it used to be as well. After all these years, Hoa (65) is now still residing in the 36m2 room with her two sons and a ripping old age dog. She finds it comfortably satisfactory and has not intended to move out because the house has kept lots of good memories of her family, especially the time spending with her husband during his presence. Dzung, her husband, passed away in 2016 at the age of 70 due to gastritis and heavy stroke sequela. Since Dzung was sick, Hoa dropped her job as a lottery seller and often looked after him. When her husband was disabled due to the illness, she decided to stay at home, cooked and did household chores for her husband and sons. Now he is gone, but Hoa takes the responsibility to take care of traditional incense rituals and worship for her husband. She does not currently live alone. Her two sons are still staying with her while working to make ends meet. Meanwhile, she has her oldest son living far away from her hometown with her grandchildren. Loi (38) is a baker and Sinh (34) works in a fishery manufactory.
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(From left to right) Megan, Hoa and Alanna share the moment. 

“Now our house is cleaner. A couple of years ago, our home is housed on the muddy grassland. It was super earthy and filthy”, says Hoa.
Alanna and Habitat Vietnam team arrived at the house in the middle of the afternoon after one and a half hour ride from Ho Chi Minh City. “Xin chao ba”, she saluted and gave Hoa a bow when encountered her in the house. In return, Hoa smiled amiably and joyously. We began the conversation with the greetings about her health and daily lives and later, go deeper about the family’s living conditions. Some jokes were inevitable because everyone was open to share their stories and common fun.
“Vietnam is my first destination I went with a team without my mom nor my family and somehow, it was the most memorable trip I have ever had in my life”, says Alanna. “Also, partly because I had some little Vietnamese companions accompanying during the build. They were in my team and we often played on the grassland”.
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Alanna (left) played with the kids during the time she joined the build.

Thanks to this return, she could have had a chance to reunite with her old friends, the kids in town. Unfortunately, time flies and things change. Most of her friends have moved out. “I remember the girl named, Yen Linh”, Alanna described and showed the photograph to us. “We were very close. She used to play in the mud. The land was filled with dirt. I don’t know why we were so close and she often played with me on the grassland”.
Hoa showed her gratitude and exclamation to Alanna when had learnt about her full story to be back to Vietnam with helping hands 9 years ago. “Your mother could have cried a lot when she allowed you to travel away”, she thought. “She would have worried about your safety, but anyway, overseas expedition are worthy because you will learn a lot from it”.
We both lingered inside the house for a while and listened to Hoa describe the picture of the volunteers who joined the build in 2010 before the farewell with shared smiles and warms regards.
In 2010, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam organized a build trip for volunteers from District School Board of Niagara’s International in My Tho City, Tien Giang Province. The build date was from July 3rd-10th.
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A complete joy from the house built on the volunteers’ efforts

In Tien’s mind, she does not know how to pronounce Grant Thornton correctly; however, she is mindful of holding every good memory she had got with the volunteers from “Gờ-Tê” (*the way she pronounced GT in Vietnamese).

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When first encountered the new house built by her own hands and the volunteers, she found a sheer bliss. The new house has heralded a new page of life with the likelihood of stability. “I work endlessly without thinking that we would have a nice house like this. The only thing I could think of is how to make ends meet for daily living,” shares Tien, 33. With the mason’s monthly income of around 3 million VND (127 USD), a house at that time was beyond her reach. Now her income rises up to 4,5 million VND (191 USD) per month.
In her memory, an owned house she has been living for years was dilapidated of improper roof and floor. The house covering around 20m2 consisted of rotted materials while the floor was soiled. The substandard roof with holes allowed for raindrops to enter causing high humidity and a favorable environment for mosquitoes. Tien recounts that the highest peak of the rainy season could be daunting for finding any better places to sleep, especially when the flood submerged up to 1m tall. That is why hardly does Tien think those kind of difficulties happened a year earlier, before Grant Thornton team volunteered to build the new house with her family.
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According to Tien, she is impressed by the proactive acts and fast-moving integration from the volunteers. Thanks to Habitat’s engagement, she could communicate with the team and become close to them even though their stay in the build did not last longer than 4 days. “I wandered around with them very frequently. I knew some construction techniques so I could work with them. We were a close-knit team,” says Tien. “When they began to depart, I also began to cry. Seeing them work harmoniously and willing to live under our living conditions makes me feel emotional”.
For her, it was the period worth reminiscing. And now, new settlement still awaits her. Thanks to the new house, she feels less worried a bit as it is a disaster-resilient house. This nicely-painted one is covered with concrete walls, new iron sheets roof sustained by steel-made frames. There also has a solid attic, which can protect the family from heavy storms and floods happening frequently as this is a disaster-prone area. “Owning a house like this means significantly to us. I am no longer scare of anything else because now my children Toan, 11, and Y, 3, can stay indoors and feel warm. I used to feel deplored seeing mother and kids being cold because of big wind and torrential rain,” tells Tien.
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At the moment, they have not yet installed the learning corners for her children but roomy space comforts her a lot. Her mother Ngung, 65, can also have a relaxing place to rest and prevent from the chronic bronchitis resulted in the inclement weather and the previous living conditions. Tien is currently the only breadwinner of the family and thus, she is still coping with financial difficulties. However, having a sturdy house weighs down her burdens a lot. After a hard-working day, she can come back home and see her children smile happily in a spacious, clean house. Her family is all her life, she shares. Watching her children grow and playing with them is the only thing she has ever wanted to see on the daily basis no matter what a tiring and doomed day is.
“At the moment, we feel nothing completely satisfied but this beautiful house. We are still struggling with the unstable livelihood. We are using our own usable water and sanitation facility detached from the house, but we are planning to have the indoors bathroom in the future. The house is what we need but if with a bathroom, it would perfectly reflect a house I dreamt about,” she says.
Before we close the conversation with her, she wants to message endless thanks to the volunteers who visit Vietnam and build her wonderful house. She still keeps many souvenirs given by some members of the team and the group photo, framed and hanged nearby the stairs.
“I feel extremely thankful and grateful to have a cozy shelter like this. Thank you so much for such a wonderful dedication,” Tien smiles.

Launched the Samsung Village #7 project to improve 3,000 people’s living conditions

Thai Nguyen Province – May 14, 2019: The Samsung Village #7 project themed “Improve access to housing and WATSAN[1] facilities for vulnerable community in Thai Nguyen province” was officially launched with the ground-breaking ceremony. In greater details, 175 people from the commune attended the event, including representatives from Samsung C&T Corporation, Habitat for Humanity Vietnam (Habitat Vietnam), Habitat for Humanity Korea (Habitat Korea) alongside local authorities.
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Funded by Samsung C&T Corporation (Samsung C&T) and organized by Habitat for Humanity Vietnam (Habitat Vietnam), the project aims to improve the quality of life through housing, water and sanitation facilities provision and disaster resilience for people in Phu Cuong Commune and Na Mao Commune, Dai Tu District, Thai Nguyen Province. Accordingly, some 3,000 people within Samsung Village #7  will benefit from the project. Hereby, 90 low-income households will have access to improved housing condition and WASH facilities[2]. The project also promotes Housing Support Services to build community-resilience against natural disasters to more than 510 villagers and homeowners. Schools and community at the commune level will also benefit from WASH facilities (3 latrines, 2 water systems) and receive training for capacity building about WASH. It is expected that a training session on WASH will be provided for around 600 community villagers while  4 awareness-raising events about this theme will be held at schools. Thanks to the establishment of community-led group, the community will also be able to enhance their capacity and awareness on domestic waste management and save the environment.
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In prior to the event, Bells Borja, Interim National Director of Habitat Vietnam, shared: “Samsung C&T has been a staunch supporter of Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, and through this new project we have, families will be have access to affordable, safe, durable shelter, water and sanitation facilities and services, and will have increased capacity to prepare for and manage disaster risks. We are hopeful that our partnership with Samsung C&T will inspire increased support towards housing from active members of the corporate sector.  We hope to serve more needs together with Samsung C&T and Habitat Korea”.
Samsung C&T first established its partnership with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam in 2016 through Habitat for Humanity Korea’s liaison. After successfully helping the people of Thai Nguyen province at Samsung Village #3 and Ha Tinh Province at Samsung Village #4, they continued to support Vietnamese community with the Samsung Village #7 commenced from May 2019.
[1] Water-Sanitation (WATSAN) provided by Habitat Vietnam includes: building latrines, water filters, wells, stainless-steel water tanks, biogas bags and water pipes system
[2] Water-Sanitation-Hygiene (WASH) interventions by Habitat Vietnam include: 1. awareness raising about water, sanitation and hygiene; 2. Provision of easy access to clean water; 3. Building latrines and other water facilities (WATSAN); 4. Classification, collection and treatment of domestic waste.

Volunteering is a meaningful experience

It is the second time Son Kim Land joining hands with Habitat Vietnam to build house for disadvantaged families in Vietnam. In May 18, 2019, 21 volunteers of Son Kim Land have dedicated a day of their weekend to build house for a low-income family in Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang province. Working alongside with the family made the volunteers understand more about the value of a decent house to a family. Ms. Tra Nguyen, a staff from Son Kim Land shared “I wish the family to have a decent house to settle their life soon so that the children can sleep well and grow up in a safer place and no longer have to worry when it rains. I know that having a decent house, a real place to call home, where the family can get together is a foundation for a brighter future for the family”.
Another sharing from Ms. Kieu Tran: “When we are young, we should do something to contribute to the community and make life more meaningful by giving a hand to others. Thanks to the build event, I have seen the hardship of manual work under the scorching sun and thus, I treasure my life even more, appreciate the work of manual workers and the most importantly, learn to stay positive even in difficult situations like those people in the community”.
After all, the build event brings not only the home to the family in need but also a great experience for the volunteers engaged.
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