Big builds in Vietnam and Cambodia

The Mekong River is the river of life for many cultures — and also the setting for two special Habitat builds in Asia.

In early August, Habitat volunteers built decent homes alongside low-income families to help break the cycle of poverty in Vietnam’s Tien Giang province, south of Ho Chi Minh City.

Tien Giang, which means “The River in Front,” is located in the Mekong Delta region of  southern Vietnam. The province is prone to flooding and drought. Many families have difficulties affording house repairs after disasters, let alone building secure homes. The August Mekong Big Build brought together Habitat volunteers and 25 families to build new homes.

This November, Smile Village — about 30 minutes’ drive from the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh — also will host a special Mekong Big Build. Volunteers will work at Smile Village, or Phum Kdey Nhor Nhem, helping to build affordable homes with families who formerly worked as garbage pickers at the now-closed Steung Meanchey dumpsite. Smile Village is within cycling distance of the city center, providing easy access to jobs, schools and much-needed opportunities to develop new skills.