Please join returning members of the 2013 Global Village trip as they travel to Hoa Binh province in 2014 for the Bob Edgar Vietnam Memorial Build to build homes for families in need. This two-week Global Village Build promises to be both challenging and rewarding for anyone interested in volunteering to help Habitat in its mission of building homes, communities and hope.
Bob Edgar served 12 years in the United States Congress. An elder in the United Methodist Church, he served 10 years as president of Claremont School of Theology and seven years as general secretary of the National Council of Churches. At the time of his death in April 2013, Bob was president/CEO of common cause, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting open, honest and accountable government. He received a Master of Divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University, Madison, N.J., and was awarded four honorary doctoral degrees. Bob served on the Habitat for Humanity International board of directors and dedicated his life to helping disadvantaged and marginalized communities, striving to right injustices throughout the 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.
The climate in Vietnam is tropical in the south and monsoonal in the north, with a hot, rainy season from May to September and a warmer, dry season from October to March. The landscape ranges between low delta in the south to central highlands, and mountains in the far north and northeast. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, situated on the Red River in the north of the country. It was the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1946 and of North Vietnam before the reunification of North and South Vietnam.
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 provinces of Thai Binh and Tien Giang.
In March 2005, Habitat Vietnam started a pilot project to reduce poverty levels in four districts of the southern province 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. It is replicated in another pilot project in another southern province, Tien Giang, where more than 1,000 families are being provided with improved sanitation and housing.
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 to: transport materials; fill foundation with dirt, stone, sand; compact floors; mix mortar; lay bricks; and clean and paint doors and windows.
Day 1 Friday, July 25 2014: Depart the United States.
Day 2 Saturday, July 26, 2014: Travel day.
Day 3 Sunday, July 27, 2014: Arrival in Hanoi, free time; dinner.
Day 4 Monday, July 28, 2014: Travel to project location; welcome and orientation with local staff member; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-8 Tuesday, July 29-August 1, 2014: 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; time for team activities.
Days 9 Saturday, August 2, 2014: Group cultural activities.
Day 10 Sunday, August 3, 2014: Free day.
Days 11-14 Monday, August 4-Thursday, August 7, 2014: 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 at house; time for team activities. Farewell lunch with families on Thursday.
Day 15 Friday, August 8, 2014: Travel to Hanoi; free time for local activities; final team dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.
Day 16 Saturday, August 9, 2014: Departure day.
Teams typically stay in a local hotel with A/C; participants sharing double-occupancy rooms with private bath.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.
Ken Bensen is president/CEO Emeritus of Habitat for Humanity of Michigan and has worked with Habitat for Humanity since 1985. He has worked on more than 20 Global Village trips, including 10 Jimmy Carter Work Projects. He has also organized 81 affiliates in Michigan, supervised the building of more than 4,000 houses in Michigan and has helped raise money to provide housing for 21,000 individuals around the world.
Karen Bensen is a compliance specialist for Great Lakes Capital Fund, a nonprofit housing company. She is responsible for up to 125 properties, making sure that all residents comply with income rules and regulations and that the buildings are properly maintained. She has worked on four Jimmy Carter Work Projects and three Global Village trips.
Jonathan Good joined Habitat for Humanity International in 2009 and serves as director of faith partnerships. He develops partnerships with faith-based organizations, and helps implement programs, special projects and initiatives that increase the capacity of Habitat to engage churches and faith-based organizations in HFHI’s mission around the world.