Family of Dang Van Ngang, 58, and Vo Thi Mai Hoa, 43, is among the 19 families who have recently moved into the new homes at the Vietnam POSCO Village, Tan Thanh district, Ba Ria Vung Tau province. Neighboring with 26 families moving in in June 2015, they are all overjoyed to finally settle down. This project is funded by POSCO and supported by Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and by February 2016 will assist 85 families in total to move in decent homes with clean water and attached toilets.
Happy family of Hoa in their new home at Vietnam Posco Village
Like other families in the Vietnam POSCO Village, a new home means a dream comes true for Ngang, Hoa and their only son Dang Tan Tai, 12 year-old.
Hoa recalled, during the first week in the new home, that she couldn’t sleep through the night while her husband and their son were sleeping next to her. ‘I often awoke at night and asked myself where I was’, relived Hoa. ‘Then I went around the house, touched every inch of the walls and checked the door lock again and again. Many questions came to my mind. Was it my home? Would everything disappear when I woke up? I thought that this new house was too good to be true for us.’
Enough space for meals with friends and relatives
Having moved in for almost a month, Hoa and her family can now enjoy a new life full of sunlight and fresh air in their new home while memory of the hard time is fading.
‘Just a year ago, we had nothing but our empty hands’
Their old house was built by a river on public land where the government might take back any time. It was too old and rickety that it cost them from VND 3 – 5 million (about US$ 140 – 233) for home repairs every 2 or 3 years. The roof was made of steel sheets and walls and floor were of old untreated wooden sheets. The family of 3 had to live for years without running water, proper bathroom and toilet. Their so-called toilet was a ‘fish pond latrine’. ‘There were too many mice surrounding where we lived as well as in our house. During raining season, our house was mosquitoes-infested,’ Hoa said.
Hoa’s old house near the river.
Despite poor living condition, Hoa and Ngang had never given up their hope by non-stop striving; however, life didn’t seem to be easy for them. More than a year ago, they took a loan around VND 30 million to invest in raising oyster in the river. Due to contaminated water and other unfavorable conditions, one night, all the oysters died while they were going to collect and sell them. ‘We were so frustrated. We had nothing left but our empty hands and big debts,’ said Hoa, ‘I had to move to Binh Duong province to work for higher income to pay off our debts. If not, our debt owners didn’t leave us alone.”
When Hoa and their family were so desperate, the good news knocked on their door and turned their lives to another page.
Since obtaining a new home, their lives become more relieved. Beyond a place to live, a decent home guarantees a better life for the family. As the family of Hoa has acquired shelter security, they are no longer be chased by debts owners and be able to pay mortgage monthly.
“Thank you very much our kind donor and Habitat for Humanity. My husband and I will continue working hard to escape from debts; more importantly, to raise our only son and to provide him with adequate education. Without this new home, I can’t image how our life would be,” said Hoa in tears.
Tai is watching TV in his new home