Home building can become habit-forming
Matamata people are being invited to swap their everyday routine for an adventure which will transform their lives and the lives of 25 Vietnamese families living in poverty.
Habitat for Humanity is looking for 150 Kiwi volunteers.
to work hard and get dirty, to build 25 homes in just one week in Tien Giang, near Ho Chi Minh City, South Vietnam.
With Habitat’s help, 25 Vietnamese families will acquire secure land tenure and new housing with a clean water supply and proper sanitation.
The families are now either homeless, living in insecure, temporary rental accommodation, or are staying with relatives or friends in over- crowded, inadequate housing.
Former Matamata man Phil Price said Habitat was looking for people who wanted to make a difference and experience a transformational overseas trip at the same time.
Phil has been involved in Habitat for Humanity projects in India, Cambodia, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
He said each build was different but all were amazing experiences for those who went.
‘‘ Everyone comes home with a story, new friends, colourful memories and a new appreciation of just what we have here in New Zealand. The problem with these projects is that they can become addictive and having been once, people want to go again and again.’’
The Big Build in Vietnam runs from August 5 for a week and involves Kiwi and other international volunteers as well as local Vietnamese.
Up to 300 volunteers will work on the site, assisted by the families whose houses are being built, so volunteers experience another culture at grass roots level, something tourism cannot replicate.
Volunteers pay their own way, come from all over New Zealand and include some skilled tradespeople, but the majority of volunteers will have little or no building experience at all.
The work is hot and labour-intensive but not too technical, so anybody who is fit enough to travel and prepared to get stuck in and give it a go can get involved.
Age is no barrier either; men and women from their 20s to their 70s have built Habitat homes all over the world.
After building, Habitat offers an opportunity for volunteers to stay on and see something of the host country before returning home.
For more information or to volunteer email Phil Price at pprice@ ihug. co. nz or phone 021 260 3456.
Helping hand: Habitat for Humanity volunteers lay bricks for a house in Sri Lanka last August.