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Communities help build safe houses and restore forests

Sống Foundation has operated since 2013 providing technical assistance and funding to build safe houses for disadvantaged households in the areas affected by natural disasters and climate change to support residents to rebuild their lives after devastating catastrophes.

An old woman finds a safe shelter in a flood region of Quảng Bình Province. The safe house design was built with the community's contribution by the Sống Foundation from 2013. Photo courtesy of Trần Mỹ Hằng 


QUẢNG BÌNH — The Foundation of Development and Supporting Sustainable Living Community, or Sống Foundation, has completed more than 1,200 safe houses, two happy villages; 4,000 urban trees and 220,000 forest trees (about 128ha) in Sóc Trăng, Quảng Bình, Quảng Nam and Ninh Thuận provinces with funding from community, partners and businesses. 


The foundation, formerly known as Resilient Housing Programme, has operated since 2013 providing technical assistance and funding to build safe houses for disadvantaged households in the areas affected by natural disasters and climate change to support residents to rebuild their lives after devastating catastrophes.


In 2018, Green Happiness Programme was officially introduced to increase green coverage in Việt Nam by planting new trees and restoring forests in building the connection between people and nature for a green, sustainable and happy life.


The foundation said it had changed from the Fund of Taking Action for Community to the Fund of Action Community to promote the participation of social enterprises and local action groups in strengthening capabilities of adapting to and minimising the impact of climate change.

Mangrove forest is planted on wetland of Lạc Hòa Commune of Vĩnh Châu in the Mekong Delta Sóc Trăng Province. The forest restoration and afforestation programme was developed with funding from community, businesses and organisations. Photo courtesy of Trương Văn Vinh 


The Resilient Housing Social Enterprise will continue to provide comprehensive solutions to build houses that are safe from natural disasters (build better before), minimising future risks at reasonable costs for low-income people.


In addition, Resilient Housing also conducts assessment, repair and reconstruction to increase the recovery ability and safety of collapsed/damaged houses after natural disasters (build back better).

Stone tiled path is built at a happy village in the central province of Quảng Nam. Works on house design, clean water and tree plantation were done to create a safe and convenient living environment for local people from landslide-affected areas. Photo courtesy of Trần Mỹ Hằng


These models will be improved and expanded to include households with people with disabilities, safe schools, communities and other social welfare facilities such as playgrounds and toilets, as well as providing advice and technical support for households across Việt Nam who need to build safe houses, according to the foundation.


In response to climate change, the foundation has converted its formerly Resilient Housing and Green Happiness programmes into two social enterprises operating independently from October of 2023 for mobilising community and local resources.


The two social enterprises will be continuing contribution to natural disaster risk reduction and impacts of climate change, afforestation and reforestation projects with fund raising from organisations, businesses and individuals.


The foundation has been calling for funding of 40 safe houses in flood-affected regions in central Việt Nam.


It said more than 100,000 White Avicennia trees had been planted by Green Happiness in Lạc Hòa Commune of Sóc Trăng Province between June and October. VNS


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