Stories of Change

The latrine under construction.

CWS efforts in Vietnam positively impacted 40,036 people in 69 communities this year.

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

New knowledge inspires a young family in Vietnam

Po A Hu is a young La Hu man living in northern Vietnam. After he got married, he moved from his own village to his wife’s, where they now live with their young son and Hu’s elderly mother in law. Their small house was just built about three years ago, but there is no latrine because they family has neither the right land nor enough money to build one – they thought.

That all changed when CWS team members held a village information session as part of our Community-Led Total Sanitation approach. During these sessions, our technicians explain the importance of building and using sanitary latrines and provide information on how to do so. After the session, Hu understood more about different sanitary latrine models and wanted to build one for his family to improve both their well-being and that of his village.

Hu was happy when his wife also liked the idea and urged him to  build their latrine as soon as possible. She urgently wanted to stop being uncomfortable and embarrassed when having to use the forest as her toilet, since it came with perils such as mosquitoes and heavy rains.

The young couple had already stockpiled four sacks of cement and some bricks to build a pigsty. They decided to use the supplies to build a latrine first. Po A Hu went to the nearest town and bought some iron, metal sheets and plastic pipe, and then he started to build the latrine himself. He explained to one CWS team member, “If you make something yourself, you will appreciate the time and effort it cost you; you will feel its value and keep it in good condition.”

This is certainly proving true for this family. When our team checked out the latrine, they said that it is indeed clean and very well maintained. We are so happy that this young family was inspired with new knowledge to use their precious resources to improve their lives, especially for their elderly parent and their growing child.