Phan Tuan Minh may only be four years old but he understands the phrase, “hot as an oven”. The old wooden bed which he shares with his mother is near the stove. In winter, the residual heat after cooking might be welcome. For the rest of the year, however, Minh’s family feels hot and stuffy. Despite the use of a small electrical fan, the heat that is trapped by the fiber cement roof cannot be dispelled.

VIET-16-0178-MFPhan Tuan Minh, 4 year-old, playing by himself 

Even if Minh could stand staying indoors for long, he does not have any toys to play with. He does not have friends of his age as his mother Du Thi Thuy, 40, could not afford to pay US$ 15 a month to send him to kindergarten.
Minh lives with his mother and his sister Phan Thi Thanh Huyen, 13, in Xuan Quang commune, Phu Tho province, northern Vietnam. Their 24-square-meter one-room house was built 16 years ago and has no piped water and toilet. The stove where Thuy cooks the family meals is framed by soot-covered walls. A wooden table and a few chairs make up the rest of the furniture. To take a shower, Thuy and her children would have go over to her parents’ house about 20m away.

VIET-16-0185-MFDu Thi Thuy looks older than the age of 40

Although they are poor, Thuy’s elderly parents have tried to help her out since her husband left the family soon after Minh was born. Raising three children on her own is a great struggle for Thuy as she also has health issues. She walks with a limp after a traffic accident 12 years ago and suffers from a stomach ulcer. The medicine for her ulcer would have cost her around 200,000 dong (US$9) a month.
VIET-16-0181-MF

VIET-16-0191-MFWhile others could afford the money, Thuy needs every cent of the US$45 that her oldest son Phan Van Trung, 18, sends home. Trung is currently working as a construction laborer in nearby provinces – several hours away from home.Living from hand to mouth, Thuy does not have the luxury of dreaming about the future. Still, she yearns for something. “We are desperate for a new house. Currently, we just live without thinking about the future. With a new house, I hope my health will be better so I can take care of my kids,” said Thuy, with tears in her eyes.

Thuy can look forward to fulfilling her wish in October. She will be among 25 families constructing their new houses alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers at the Vietnam Big Build in Phu Tho.  Her son Minh is currently too young to understand the hardships of life. But he will have the opportunity to grow up in a decent, affordable home, raised with love by his mother and loved ones.
Habitat for Humanity Vietnam has been working with families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter since 2001. Be part of the good childhood memories of children like Minh by joining over 200 international volunteers during the Vietnam Big Build. Contact the Habitat program in your home country or email LCabasag@habitat.org. Registration closes on July 22, 2016.

 

VIET-16-0322-MF
A picture of resilience and a new future
July 11, 2016
VIET-16-0379-MF
The benefits of a new toilet
August 8, 2016
VIET-16-0173-MF

1 Comment

  1. Great article, just what I needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X Window

Text description...

Ha Noi

Address: Room 203, E3 Building, Trung Tu Diplomatic Compound, 6 Dang Van Ngu, Dong Da Dist, Hanoi
Phone: +84 (04) 3715 2615 - Fax: +84 (04) 3715 2614

Phu Tho

Project name: Improving shelter security, health and disaster resilience in Phu Tho province
Project length: February 2015 - June 2016
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH
Beneficiaries: 41 households; 3 local authorities, 500 teachers and students and additional 100 villagers via training
Donor: Habitat for Humanity Australia
Budget: US$ 110,000

Thai Nguyen

Project name: Low-income housing, water and education in Thai Nguyen province
Project length: November 2014 – October 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH
Beneficiaries: 92 households; 210 community members and local authorities via training and 1000 students via equipment of IT classroom
Donor: Samsung
Budget: US$ 225,000

Hoa Binh

Project name: Improved housing and WASH for low-income households in Northern Vietnam
Project length: January 2014 – June 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH
Beneficiaries: 80 ethnic minority households; 5 local authorities and additional 200 community members via training
Donor: Evonik Industries
Budget: € 120,000

Quang Nam

#1
Project name: Building Disaster Resilient Communities
Project length: March 2014 - December 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH, CBDRM
Beneficiaries: 65 households; 200 local masons and 1200 local authorities and community members via training
Donor: Habitat for Humanity Australia
#2
Budget: US$ 204,237
Project name: Safe community in disaster-prone Quang Nam
Project length: July 2014 – June 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH, CBDRM
Beneficiaries: 56 households; additional 90 community members via training
Donor: Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco
Budget: US$ 127,040

TP. Ho Chi Minh

Address: 53/10 Tran Khanh Du, District 1, Tp. Ho Chi Minh
Phone: +84 (08) 3526 5005 - Fax: +84 (08) 3526 5323
Email: info@habitatvietnam.org

Tien Giang

Project name: Nine Dragons – Phase 2
Project length: October 2013 – September 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH, CBDRM
Beneficiaries: 208 households; 10 local authorities and additional 330 community members via training
Donor: AusAID and Habitat for Humanity Australia
Budget: US$ 217,641

Long An

Project name: Housing upgrade in Long An province via Microfinance partnership
Project length: March 2015 – August 2015
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH
Beneficiaries: 22 households; 75 community members and local authorities via training
Donor: P&G
Budget: US$ 64,874

Ba ria - Vung Tau

Project name: POSCO 3
Project length: September 2014 - February 2016
Project purpose: Shelter, WASH
Beneficiaries: 85 households
Donor: POSCO
Budget: US$ 507,475