Dong’s story

Dong, 55 and her family have lived in their Quang Nam home for over 20 years. Severe weather conditions are common to Quang Nam and even though the home has been badly damaged and battered by strong winds, storms and flooding over the years, Dong is unable to afford to the repairs needed.

In this time, their home has deteriorated. The walls are crumbling and rain pours in through the leaking roof. Dong sets up buckets around the house to catch the water, which quickly fill up and overflow every time it rains.

old home

Dong shares her home with her son, his wife and their four children. With seven people under the one roof conditions are crowded. When it rains, conditions are even more difficult, and the family huddles together in a corner of the house that provides protection from the rain.

Dong’s daughter-in-law had to start taking the children to her mother’s house for shelter during the torrential storms as they fell ill in Dong’s damp home after the rain. Dong was saddened her home was not safe for her grandchildren, and hoped to one day be able to give them a safe roof overhead. However, with nothing but a buffalo to her name, she had no means of making her dream a reality.

As part of Habitat for Humanity’s disaster resiliency program, Dong was able to get the hand up she needed to finally build a new home earlier this year. Habitat volunteers also lent a hand. “They didn’t know me before but they came all the way here and helped me wholeheartedly,” said Dong gratefully.

“This blessing makes me feel like I can live longer. The Lunar New Year holiday is coming soon and it is going to be a joyful and meaningful one for our family in the new home,” she added.

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