Habitat for Humanity Vietnam
Habitat's work in Vietnam
Vietnam News and Stories
Habitat’s work in Vietnam is undertaken through a branch office of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat’s presence began in Danang, central Vietnam, in 2001. HFH Vietnam currently has projects in Hai Duong, Thai Binh and Ha Tinh provinces in the north; Quang Nam province in the central region; and Dong Nai, Long An, Tien Giang and Kien Giang provinces in the south. There are offices in Hanoi, Hiep Duc in Quang Nam province and in Ho Chi Minh City, plus a Habitat Resource Center in Rach Gia. HFH Vietnam specializes in implementing integrated shelter, water and sanitation solutions in partnership with local government partners and microfinance institutions. HFH Vietnam’s disaster response program started in 2009 after Typhoon Ketsana – the country’s worst typhoon in 30 years – hit south central Vietnam. There is a disaster response project in Dong Thap province in the south after severe flooding in the summer of 2011. HFH Vietnam is also helping families in Ha Tinh province in the north who were affected by 2010 floods.
Housing needs in Vietnam
An emerging middle income country, Vietnam has made impressive progress in reducing poverty. Official data showed that the general poverty rate fell from 58.1 percent in 1993 to 9.45 percent in 2010. Poverty is concentrated among ethnic minorities who live in remote mountainous areas and among rural dwellers. Towns and cities are growing due to rapid urbanization driven by economic development. Around 25 percent of housing stock is classified by the government as substandard or temporary. Vietnam is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Approximately 70 per cent of the population is at risk of typhoons, flooding, mudslides, severe storms and drought.
How Habitat for Humanity works
Habitat for Humanity Vietnam mobilizes material and financial resources and voluntary labor to build or repair houses with vulnerable families. Habitat home partners help to build their own house and pay toward its cost, typically through a housing microfinance loan. Their repayments go toward a fund which enables more families to build or improve their homes. Habitat builds up the capacity of its local government partners and home partner families and their communities through training and skills development. The areas covered include ensuring that houses best suit the local environment, managing household finances, gaining access to clean water and sanitation, increasing awareness of hygienic practices, training communities to manage disaster risks as well as adapting to climate change. For example, a rural project in southern Kien Giang province, which began in 2009, provides increased access to water and sanitation facilities, alongside
training in basic hygiene awareness. At least 184,000 people, many from four of the most impoverished districts in the province, will have benefited by the project’s completion in
2012. Habitat also incorporates disaster-resilient and sustainable construction such as wind-proofing roofs or using nonfired bricks in housing and water and sanitation facilities.
HFH Vietnam hosted 21 international teams from Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, Singapore and the U.S. comprising over 400 volunteers, in the fiscal year to June 30, 2011. Five corporate and school teams from within Vietnam, some 156 volunteers, also built with Habitat.
Habitat continues to develop relationships with donors and partners as its housing, water and sanitation programs expand across Vietnam. Partnerships with multilateral and
bilateral organizations include those with UNDP, UK government’s UKaid, Korea International Cooperation Agency, Jersey Overseas Aid Commission, Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development, Engineers Without Borders Australia and others. Corporate support comes from Chevron, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil and Holcim, among others. HFH Vietnam also works with other non-profit organizations such as Water Charity and Communities for Communities and receives funding support from other Habitat programs in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and the U.S. In addition, government partners such as the provincial Unions of Friendship Organizations and Women’s Unions provide key support.
- December 2011: Over 100 volunteers supported by Korean steelcompany POSCO built in Tien Giang province in the south. Earlierin the month, 39 volunteers from Australia kicked off theNine Dragons build in Long An province, also in the south.
- November 2011: First-ever housing design competition launched simultaneously in Thailand and Vietnam with Habitat’s partner Siam Cement Group on the theme of “Sustainable Shelter in an Age of Climate Change and Disasters”.
- September 2011: HFH Vietnam launched its inaugural photo competition to celebrate its 10th anniversary and to help raise awareness about housing issues as part of the annual United Nations World Habitat Day.
- In mid-2011: Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and Holcim partnered for the second time on a pilot project in construction technology to reduce the negative environmental impact associated with kiln-fired clay bricks. Cellular lightweight concrete is being used to build the walls of 21 houses at the Rainbow Village in Kien Giang province, southern Vietnam
- June 2011: A 20-member team from HFH Greater San Francisco became the first volunteer team to build in Quang Nam province in central Vietnam. HFH Greater San Francisco made a tithe donation of US$200,000 to HFH Vietnam to support the long-term housing recovery of those affected by by Typhoon Ketsana in 2009.
- April 2011: Habitat welcomed seven more families at its Rainbow Village project in Kien Giang province. To date, 52 houses have been completed with the help of international volunteers and teams from Australia’s Communities for Communities. With funding from HFH Australia, HFH Vietnam has been able to extend the project, which began in late 2007, to its current second phase.
Population: 90,549,390 (July 2011 est)
Area: 331,210 sq. km.
Ethnic groups: Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, others 5.3% (2009 census)
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English, French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Religions: Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)
Literacy: 94% (2009 census)
Urbanization: 30% (2010)
Population Living on US$1.25 a Day: 13% (2009)
Access to Improved Water Sources: 94% (2009)
Access to Improved Sanitation Facilities: 75% (2009)
Sources: World Factbook, World Bank