I can’t even begin to describe the incredible poverty in Ke Sat Village, which is a few hours southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam.
I am with over 300 volunteers from around the world, including my husband who fought in South Vietnam 40 years ago, building decent affordable housing for 32 families with Habitat for Humanity. The home we are building is approximately 300 square feet and will house a family of eight. The house, while small, will be a world away from their life of living on a small fishing boat. The father of the house is 51 years old and living on a boat is the only life he has known. He will be living there with his wife and mother. His five grandchildren will also live with them as his children are grown and live quite a distance away in order to find work.
He is so very prideful of his new home and works side-by-side with the volunteers, meticulously spackeling the walls and helping us bring cement from the work yard. I can’t wait to meet the rest of his family on Friday when we give him the keys to his new home.
Even more remarkable are the children in this small fishing village. Despite the lack of shelter, electricity, sanitation and food – basic rights we all take for granted – they are so full of happiness and joy. Their love for people is so warm and genuine and they run up to you with incredible smiles and want to say hello and shake your hand. Imagine what the world would be like if all people shared the same love and compassion.
To learn more about the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, click here.