Veterans Build Tien Giang, Vietnam
Vietnam emerged from the ravages of war to become one of the most vibrant economies in Asia, but 4.6 million Vietnamese households are struggling with poverty.
Habitat for Humanity builds in more than 70 countries, including Vietnam. In 2012 and 2013, teams made up partially of Vietnam War veterans built homes in partnership with Vietnamese families in My Tho, the provincial capital of Tien Giang. These veterans called the experience life-changing. Some said it was a chance to rebuild from the destruction of the war; others said that in helping others, their own problems faded away.
“By coming here, this trip, it has healed a lot of – hard feelings, shall I say – it disappeared while we were here. You learned to love the folks.” – Vic Romback, an Air Force veteran who returned to Vietnam in 2012.
Habitat for Humanity will return to Vietnam in 2014 through a Veterans Build trip building on the success of these previous efforts. This time, however, our focus will be on all veterans, along with their families and friends. We are especially interested in recruiting a mix of Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam veterans.
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.
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): Depart the United States.
Day 2 (Saturday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City; free time; dinner; overnight in hotel.
Day 4 (Monday): Travel to My Tho in Tien Giang; orientation with local staff member; visit project sites and families; welcome dinner.
Days 5-8 (Tuesday): 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): Free days: activities in local community.
Days 11-14 (Monday-Thursday): 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 on Thursday.
Day 15 (Friday): Travel to Ho Chi Minh City; free time for local activities; dinner.
Day 16 (Saturday): Departure day.
Note: This trip will include special educational activities for veterans.
Teams typically stay in a local hotel with AC; participants sharing double-occupancy rooms with private bath.
Breakfast is at the hotel. Lunch is on-site, prepared by local restaurants that are located near the work site. Dinners are 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.)
Share your story and keep Habitat building
You’re building something exciting with Habitat, so tell people about it! Create a page on Share.Habitat to tell friends, family and coworkers about your Global Village trip. Fundraising your program cost will be easy, and additional funds you raise will keep Habitat building after your team returns home.
Interested in joining this once in a lifetime opportunity building alongside Veterans? Contact Neal Pointer at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Neal’s best Global Village memory: “I will never forget standing next to my brothers singing ‘Where have all the Flowers Gone’ and looking into each other’s eyes with the realization that wars will not end and knowing at the same that that this build heals far beyond the need for home for these incredible families to have decent housing, but for us to find an end.”