Sawatdeeka, ‘hello’ from the Mekong Project.
The Mekong, the largest river in southeast Asia, is the namesake of our 2009 international Habitat for Humanity build. Delta has the largest number of volunteers and we serve as the Platinum sponsor of this year’s project.
Yesterday, we joined together alongside of our family to begin construction on our house. Ours is one of 82 total homes that will be built during the five day event, with the number 82 specially chosen to commemorate the King’s 82nd birthday.
Each 800 square foot house is constructed of concrete bricks, stacked atop a concrete foundation. The bricks, which were made as part of the ‘sweat equity’ each family is required to contribute to their home, were completed prior to our arrival. In addition to the sweat equity investment, the families will pay $800 dollars for their new homes. Our first day of construction was spent mixing concrete and laying bricks as we watched our house begin to take shape.
Consisting of one large room with a separate bathroom at the back, the homes would seem small by most American standards. But for these families, they represent the big promise of a new future.
The need for decent, affordable housing is overwhelming here. We learned in the opening ceremony that about 850 million people live in slums, which is nearly two-thirds of the world’s population of slum-dwellers.
I am personally blessed to be able to participate in this project as an individual. As a 43-year Delta employee, I take great pride in working for a company who has not only provided me with this opportunity, but who has continued to serve as a dedicated supporter of such a worthy organization.
Jane H., Flight Attendant, ATL