‘My family used to live in an abandoned house.’

It has been two months since Ms. Diem, 45, and her family moved in their new home at the Vietnam POSCO Village. As rejoicing the new lives, the family can now leave behind the memories of living in a deserted house.

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Ms. Diem and a POSCO staff in her new home

Diem didn’t own the house. It was abandoned by its owner and Diem asked for permission for shelter. The house with thatch walls and damaged corrugated roof was fairly shabby by the time Diem moved in. There was no running water and an appropriate place for cooking not even to mention a kitchen. It was crammed and stifling so the family had to bear the heat in dry season. Things seemed to be worse when it rained because water came in and made the soil floor soggy.

Had been living in this house for over 15 years, it was a distress for the family yet they had no choice. With a meager income, they couldn’t afford to rent a one-room house let alone build a house.

The main supporter of the family is Phuong, Diem’s husband, 45, who is a seasonal worker for the earnings of about 50,000 VND (US$ 2.4) per day.  As Phuong’s mother is sick, Diem stays at home to take care of her as well as the family. The couple has a son and a daughter. The son named Vu, 21, is a mason which brings him a million VND (US$ 48) per month. When there is no construction work, Vu catches crabs to earn money. The daughter Ven, 12, is in grade 3 instead of grade 6 due to the financial difficulty. Spare meals with instant noodle or rice and vegetable were familiar with the family. Sometimes they skipped meals when running out of food.

Having a new home in the Vietnam POSCO village has turned their lives to another page.

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The new house is ample and clean and therefore has much less mosquitos. It consists of one living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen.

‘We can sleep well at night as it is much cooler,’ said Diem, ‘My mother-in-law had been sick but when she knew about the new home, it made her feel better. She was so happy for us’.

Diem seems to hardly find words to express her appreciation for this valuable support, especially for POSCO volunteers who joined hands to make them a home. Although one week was not long, her family made a connection with the volunteers. The day the volunteers flied back to Korea, they cried. ‘I just want to say thank you to the donor POSCO and Habitat for Humanity Vietnam for helping our family’, said Diem.

The same as Diem, the family of Ms Tam, 35, and Mr Son, 46, are among the 26 households who have moved in their new houses. More than a shelter, the new home offers them with better economic opportunities. With a space in front of the house, Tam and Son have opened a small shop selling groceries for the neighbors to supplement their income.

Furthermore, as having more place to put in an old sewing machine, Tam can earn several hundred thousand VND per month by fixing clothes. They used to rent a one-room house for about 700,000 VND (US$ 33) per month. The 10-square-meter room was sufficient for an old sofa which was also a bed for their daughter Loan, 13 and son Vu, 8. Tam and Son slept on the floor next to the sofa.

‘One of my leg is injured so it’s difficult for me to find a job,’ shared Tam, ‘It used to be only my husband to support our family. I’m glad that now I can help him supplement the income. I also have time to cook meals and take care of the children. The new decent home has brought us with so much blessing. I’m so thankful!’

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Ms. Tam and her home small shop

The phase I of the Vietnam POSCO Village project was finished in June with the completion of 26 houses. The phase II has been then started and by the end of the project in February, there will be a total of 85 low-income households to obtain new adequate homes.

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Posco staff build August, 2015: Six new homes of love and sharing
August 14, 2015
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Samsung Electronics Corporation volunteers helped build new homes for poor families
August 28, 2015
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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