With two veterans of Asia trips, Susan Latham and Terry Gaar are excited to lead this trip to one of the most interesting countries in Asia. This will be an exciting, fun, fulfilling trip with great food. Who doesn’t love that? The best part is meeting the families that we build with and being part of the community briefly while we build.
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.
Tien Giang province is located north of the Mekong Delta, adjacent to the Tien River. It is bordered on the north by Long An; on the south by Vinh Long and Ben Tre; on the east by Ho Chi Minh; and on the west by Dong Thap. Tien Giang’s population is estimated at more than 1.6 million. My Tho is the capital city and municipality of Tien Giang,
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.
Recently Habitat started a pilot project to reduce poverty levels in southern province Tien Giang, where more than 1,000 families are being provided with improved sanitation and housing. This initiative, with the help of the provincial authorities, extended existing microfinance networks so families could save and access credit for home improvements.
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.
Day 1(Friday, May 31): Depart from your country.
Day 2 (Saturday, June1): Travel day
Day 3 (Sunday, June 2): Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City; free time; dinner; overnight in hotel.
Day 4 (Monday, June 3): Travel to My Tho in Tien Giang; orientation with local staff member; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-8 (Tuesday-Friday, June 4 - 7): 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.
Days 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday, Jnue 8 - 9): Free days: activities in local community.
Days 11-14 (Monday- Thursday, June 10 - 13): 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. Farewell lunch with families.
Day 15 (Friday, June 14): Travel to Ho Chi Minh City; free time for local activities; dinner.
Day 16 (Saturday, June 15): Departure day.
Note: Trip includes special events throughout the week; cultural experiences with affiliate staff, such as market tours, museum visits, church, historical sites, etc.
Teams typically stay in a local hotel with A/C; participants sharing double-occupancy rooms with private bath.
Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch on site prepared by local restaurants that are located near the work site. Dinners in local restaurants. Snack and water is included, as well as the cost of welcome and farewell dinners.
(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 leaders: Terry Gaar and Susan Lathan
Terry Gaar has served as the training and outreach specialist for Habitat for Humanity International’s Women Build department since spring 2007. She began working for HFHI in the Operation Home Delivery department in October 2005, serving Habitat affiliates rebuilding in the Gulf Coast region. Terry delivers support to U.S. affiliates regarding Women Build and developed and facilitates Women Build leadership events all over the U.S. Additionally, Terry has led Women Build trips to India, Indonesia and China.
Suan Lathan has been a volunteer with Habitat for 18 years locally, nationally and internationally. Volunteer HFH work includes 70 builds, Women Build leadership training and Global Village Leadership training. She has co-led and led three global village trips in 2011 and 2012. Her love for Habitat for Humanity as an organization is endless. She truly believes in the Habitat mission that all need decent, affordable, safe housing regardless of any life circumstance. She also believes that her purpose in this life is to help in anyway she can to make this happen.
For more information please contact Terry Garr and Susan Lathan by email at Vietnamtriphfh@hotmail.com.