A fundraising ceremony in Hanoi for the Living Foundation of the Flood Resistant Housing project. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/VOV5)
The project’s funding mainly comes from community contributions. Every year, fundraising events are held including auctions of works by many famous Vietnamese artists. After 6 years, nearly 900 houses, clean water tanks, and toilets have been built in 11 areas nationwide, mainly in the central region which is usually heavily affected by floods.
Dinh Ba Vinh, the project’s architect, said: “We have designed 12 models of flood resistant houses for different affected areas. Each of them is designed to specifically suit the local conditions while preserving the traditional cultural features. So it’s hard to say which one is the most optimal.”
Last November, the project established a Sustainable Living Support and Development Foundation, or Living Foundation for short, to support people affected by natural disasters and climate change to lead a safe, stable life and develop harmoniously with their surroundings.
The non-profit social fund has kicked off a long-term project called Happiness Village which will be home to 70 Xo-dang ethnic households for resettlement. The village is under construction in Nam Tra My district, Quang Nam province, according to Pham Thi Huong Giang, the project’s founder and key operator.
“The Happiness Village is a pilot project in Quang Nam province whose administration is contributing infrastructure and capital. The local government has also provided manpower. So far we have constructed safe, flood resistant housing for eight provinces nationwide. With the Happiness Village, we will also help the locals in planning, healthcare, education, and cultural preservation,” Giang said.
| A painting is auctioned to raise funds for flood resistant housing. (Photo: Ngoc Anh/VOV5)
“Many people in Quang Tri have benefited from the project. My old house was small and dilapidated. Thanks to the support of agencies and organizations, I have a single-storey 80-square-meter house with a mezzanine. We feel more comfortable and safer and no longer worry about floods,” said Pham Thi Tuyet, a project beneficiary in Quang Tri province.
Since the Green Happiness program, part of the Flood Resistant Housing project, was implemented last year, more than 1,700 trees have been planted in Hanoi, 5,000 in the ancient town of Hoi An, and 10,000 in Dong Thap province. Three parks will be built in Hoi An, Soc Trang province, and Ho Chi Minh City by the end of this year.
Over the past 6 years, the Flood Resistant Housing project has helped 3,500 locals live in a safer environment. It was one of the 10 winning projects at the National Volunteer Award 2016.