Families served in 2016: 1706
- Population: 94.3 million (July 2015 est.)
- Urbanization: 33.6 percent lives in cities (2015)
- Life expectancy: 73 years (2015 est.)
- Unemployment rate: 3 percent (2015 est.)
- Population living below poverty line: 11.3 percent (2012)
- Access to improved water sources: 97.6 percent (2015 est.)
- Access to improved sanitation facilities: 78 percent (2015 est.)
Source: World Factbook
Habitat for Humanity in Vietnam
Habitat for Humanity began working in Vietnam in January 2001 with its first project in Danang City in the central coastal region. As of December 2015, Habitat has enabled more than 13,100 low-income Vietnamese families to improve their living conditions through decent homes, clean water and safe sanitation. HFH Vietnam has also provided training in areas such as disaster preparedness, financial education, and hygiene practices to around 65,000 individuals.
Housing needs in Vietnam
Vietnam has lifted more than 35 million people out of poverty since the early 1990s due to rapid economic growth and reforms. However, nearly 11 percent of Vietnam’s 90-million population is still living on less than 400,000 Vietnamese dong (about US$20) per month in rural areas. Low-income families living in poorly built housing are trapped in annual cycles of repairs. More than half of rural dwellers lack adequate sanitation while more than one third do not have access to clean water. Every seven in 10 persons also face the risk of typhoons, torrential storms and flooding which hit Vietnam annually.
How Habitat addresses the need in Vietnam
HFH Vietnam partners with low-income families to build, repair or upgrade their homes with families contributing “sweat equity” or their own labor, and typically repaying the costs through microfinance loans. International volunteers provide a hand-up by building alongside the families. Habitat also enables families to build facilities for clean water and safe sanitation according to their needs. The partner organizations that Habitat works with include the local government and communities. The training that Habitat offers to its partners include appropriate construction technology, financial management, awareness and practice of proper hygiene, community- based disaster risk management.
Community housing development
Habitat for Humanity Vietnam empowers families and communities by working directly with them to increase their access to decent housing and improve their living conditions through WASH training and housing microfinance services, among others. Key program drivers include the improvement of water and sanitation facilities as well as the provision of housing support services by HFH Vietnam or its implementing partners.
Building disaster-resilient communities
Housing support services is a means by which HFH Vietnam raises awareness and builds the capacity and resilience of disaster-prone communities. Through training in appropriate construction technology as well as in disaster preparedness, Habitat enables families, provincial governments, community leaders, teachers and masons to protect their lives and assets in times of disasters.
Housing market development
HFH Vietnam aims to identify opportunities for the entry of market actors to deliver products and services in the affordable housing market. Under the facilitation of Habitat, microfinance institutions and various manufacturers will be able to gain access to new customer segments and markets, and develop affordable housing products and services.
Volunteers contribute significantly to enabling families to build strength, stability and self-reliance through decent housing. They are the hearts, hands, voices and financial support for those in need of affordable shelter. Through HFH Vietnam’s volunteer program, international and local volunteers have the opportunity to be part of a meaningful, compelling project. Corporations’ CSR initiatives can also be boosted through viable partnerships with HFH Vietnam.
Meet a Habitat family
During the first week of staying in her new Habitat house, Vo Thi Mai Hoa, 43, could hardly sleep though her husband and her son lay next to her. Hoa said: “I often woke up at night and asked myself where I was.” She would get up and walk around in the house, touching every inch of the walls and checking the lock of the door repeatedly. “Many questions came to mind, ‘Was it my home? Would everything disappear when I woke up? I thought that this new house was too good to be true for us.’ ”
Hoa and her husband Dang Van Ngang, 58, and their only son, Dang Tan Tai, 12, live in Tan Thanh district, Ba Ria Vung Tau province. Built on public land, their old house was made of corrugated metallic sheets for its roof and walls with untreated wood for its floor boards. Every two or three years, Hoa would have to spend between three to five million Vietnamese dong (between US$130 and US$220) to repair their house. Hoa and her family lived for 6 years without running water and a proper bathroom. With their old house built over the river, their toilet was a “fish pond latrine”.
Thankful for Habitat for Humanity’s help, Hoa said: “Without this new home, I can’t imagine what our life would be. My husband and I will continue to work hard to raise our only son and to provide him with adequate education.”