Building a global community with Habitat for Humanity

Recent projects in India, Vietnam and Hong Kong with Habitat for Humanity highlight Techtronic Industries’ (TTI) global reach and ability to foster healthier, happier communities world-wide.

16 July, 2021 — Demonstrating the continued engagement of our ESG Committee with its partners, TTI has donated US$50,000 in response to an emergency appeal from Habitat for Humanity for COVID-19 relief in India. TTI’s work with Habitat for Humanity is well-covered in our US markets, but as a global partner of the NGO, which operates in over 70 countries, we also have an extensive partnership in our home region.

In the US, Habitat is mainly known for home-building projects to get lower-income Americans on the property ladder. In Asia, different conditions sometimes require going even further to construct both homes and access to clean and safe water, and toilet facilities (particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic).

In line with UN Sustainability goals, Habitat and TTI partnered to devote resources to two key projects in Vietnam and Hong Kong. As part of these efforts, TTI pledged power tools and cash worth US$250,000 as of our 2020 Annual Report.

With both flexible emergency engagement in India, as well as longer term on-going projects in the region, TTI and Habitat are forging an impactful relationship that maximizes the resources of both partners to help.

“Long-term, cross-sector collaboration is vital to the sustainability of our programs and will impact the health and wellbeing of communities across the region” CEO of Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong Jo Hayes said. “We are grateful for our meaningful partnership with TTI,” she added. 

Building a better future in Vietnam

After typhoons devastated much of Southern Vietnam in late 2020, TTI engaged in a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to provide 84 families in the Tien Giang province with safe and decent shelter, as well as water and sanitation facilities for a local school.

The school project provided 500 primary school children with access to clean water, handwashing facilities, hygiene kits and training. The school went from an open-air rusty, broken-down latrine with two stalls for girls and two for boys, to a ceramic-roofed, tiled handwashing facility, with six stations for each gender.

“We thank Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and Techtronic Industries for helping us install these two handwashing systems to serve all students at the school,” the principal of Tan Trung primary school said. “Especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, this is of great significance to all 500 students and our teachers.”

Meanwhile, families benefitting from the housing project were able to move from a home made of leaves and mixed board over a rusted iron frame, to a sturdy home with brick walls, a cement floor, and a tiled roof, as well as a hygienic latrine.

The housing project included new home construction, home renovation, access to clean and safe water, new latrines, as well hygiene and COVID-19 prevention training.

In this part of Vietnam, low-income families living in poorly built housing are constantly being forced to rebuild their communities due to typhoons, completely disrupting stable lives. With these new homes and facilities, families will weather future storms.

Students at Tan Trung primary school enjoy upgraded school hygiene facilities helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19

“At TTI, we are and will remain unflaggingly passionate about pursuing our commitment to a more just, diverse, safe, and environmentally responsible world,”

— Stephan Pudwill, Vice-Chairman of TTI and Chair of the TTI ESG Committee said

Project Home Works Hong Kong

Closer to our home office in Hong Kong, TTI supported Project Home Works, a Habitat project which provides home repairs, renovation and cleaning services for vulnerable families.

Externally, the building, neighborhood and community needs are fulfilled by developers, estate management, the HKSAR Government and planning bodies. However, the home itself is left entirely to the individual and mostly for-profit service providers. Those without the physical ability and financial resources to maintain their living conditions are left with few options to clean their homes regularly or repair or renovate. 

Habitat steps in to fill this service gap and provides free home cleaning, repair and modification services to elderly and low-income families, to provide a healthy, safe and sanitary home.

TTI supported Habitat’s work with local NGO partners and social workers to identify the most vulnerable families. A typical building for residents supported by the program, Oi Man Estate, is a first-generation Hong Kong public housing estate built in 1974. After 40 years, units in the building are plagued not just by peeling paint, but spalling concrete and residents are unable to afford repairs.

Having identified those in need, Habitat provides part time employment opportunities for local domestic workers and recruits volunteers to work alongside licensed contractors, scraping off old paint, applying mould resistant primer, painting and cleaning apartments. TTI funding supported 52 vulnerable families to have a safer, more hygienic home.

As a Global Partner since 2019, Habitat and TTI work together on building new homes for low-income households and addressing the problem of poverty housing in the communities where we operate. We have been supporting Habitat for Humanity over the years in different regions. Expanding our support to Habitat for Humanity shows our commitment of fulfilling 3 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 1 No Poverty, Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, and Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.