Kien Giang, Vietnam
Come explore an unique area of Southeast Asia, Kien Giang Province, which is known for its natural beauty, lush greenness and the home of Vietnamese and Khmer people. Working daily in a local setting will enhance your opportunity to appreciate and learn about these cultures and to interact and experience the warm and friendly people of this region. In addition, you will be part of a team that has the attributes of being interesting, compassionate and possessing a positive outlook about world.
Vietnam (“Viet Nam” in Vietnamese), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, bordering China, Laos and Cambodia. It is a country of divine contrasts. The scene changes from the bustling and chaotic streets of Hanoi in the north, down 3,450 kilometers of coastline to the tranquil rice paddies and tropical islands in the south.
The country has experienced significant economic growth in the past two decades as the country shifted to a market style economy. A driving force for the future is Vietnam’s strongly motivated and educated population – the country boasts a 90 percent literacy rate. But while Vietnam has the second-fastest growing economy in Asia, it is still one of the poorest countries in the region. A 2004 census estimated 19.5 percent of Vietnamese lived below the national poverty line. Substandard housing in Vietnam ranges from overcrowded urban units to shacks constructed from scraps or natural materials that need frequent replacing.
About Habitat for Humanity Vietnam
Habitat’s work in Vietnam is undertaken through the Habitat for Humanity Vietnam national office that was established in October 2002. Currently, Habitat has projects in the southern provinces of Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Dong Nai as well as Ho Chi Minh City.
Kien Giang province is located in southwest Vietnam. It is bordered on the northeast by Dong Thap; by Can Tho and Bac Lieu on the southeast; by Ca Mau on the south; by 200 kilometers of Gulf of Thailand coastline on the west; and by 54 kilometers of border with Cambodia on the northwest. It also lays claim to 105 islands.
In March 2005, Habitat Vietnam started a pilot project to reduce poverty levels in four districts of Kien Giang. This initiative, with the help of the provincial authorities, extended existing microfinance networks so families could save and access credit for home improvements. The approach proved a speedy way to help hundreds of families.
In partnership with the Kien Giang Union of Friendship (KUFO) and Catalyst Foundation, HFH Vietnam is working to reposition a garbage dumpsite community in Rach Gia, Kien Giang Province. Ninety-two houses are to be built to incorporate house ownership and employing environmentally safe water and sanitation systems, vocational training, scholarships for basic education and life skills/health awareness programs.
Subsequently this project aims to reduce exploitation and minimize the risk of human trafficking particularly disposed to women and children. To learn more about HFH Vietnam, visit www.habitatvietnam.org.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on existing home renovations and complete home construction. Volunteers may help with some, but not necessarily all, of these activities: transporting materials; filling foundations with dirt stone and sand; compacting floor; mixing mortar; laying bricks; cleaning and painting windows and doors.
(16 day itinerary)
January 4 (Friday): Depart the United States.
January 5 (Saturday): Travel day.
January 6 (Sunday): Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City; free time; dinner; overnight in hotel.
January 7 (Monday): Flight to Kien Giang; orientation with local staff member; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
January 8 - 11(Tuesday-Friday): Work days: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner and time for team activities.
January 12 - 13 (Saturday-Sunday): Free days: activities in local community.
January 14 - 17 (Monday-Thursday): Work days: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at house; time for team activities.
January 17 (Thursday): Farewell lunch with families.
January 18 (Friday): Travel to Ho Chi Minh City; free time for local activities; dinner.
January 19 (Saturday): Departure day.
Note: Special events throughout the week; Cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, church, historical sites, etc.
Teams typically stay in local hotel with AC, and participants sharing double-occupancy rooms with a private bath.
Breakfast will be at hotel. Lunch is on-site prepared by local restaurants that are near the work sites. Dinners are eaten at area restaurants. Vegetarian is available on request but is not available in great variety; usually vegetables and tofu.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Team leader- Hugh Mitchell
Hugh Mitchell is a former Peace Corps Volunteer that has been fortunate to lead several Global Village teams, including two in Southeast Asia, and each has been a fabulous experience. Prospective team members are encouraged to contact Hugh at 253-752-2802 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.