Compassion Homes
Program Overview

East Meets West’s Compassion Home program builds new houses for impoverished rural families to replace rundown, poorly constructed dwellings.  Beneficiary families live in homes with walls made from flimsy materials like bamboo and plastic; the doors, windows and roofs are insecure and do not keep the winds and rains out. Damp floors lead to mold and an unhygienic environment. The houses usually don’t have latrines.

EMW staff work with local authorities to select families eligible for Compassion Homes based on the following criteria:

  • The family is an officially poor household with at least four members
  • The main provider is incapacitated due to illness
  • Family income is insufficient to pay for its member's basic needs
  • House is unsafe and unable to withstand harsh weather conditions

 These families often live in lowland and flood-prone areas in central Vietnam in Quang Nam Province, one of the most impoverished in the central region.

The new Compassion Homes built by EMW meet high-quality construction standards and include bedrooms, a living room, a veranda, electricity and a bathroom with a toilet. In flood-prone regions, an upper half-story is incorporated for dry storage of grain and clothes during the rainy season.

The homes are built at a reasonable cost, maximizing donor funding. Families may also contribute their labor to the house construction, lowering the costs and using their wages to build additional components. The recipient families also sign an agreement stating that the house will never be sold, mortgaged, rented, or given away, ensuring that it will stay within the family.

Building Compassion Homes is part of EMW’s efforts to assist vulnerable communities to adapt to the effects of global climate change. As the country’s population is increasingly challenged by rising tides, devastating floods, powerful winds and more frequent storms, EMW is helping these communities prepare by building more flood-proof and storm-resistance dwellings.

Key Goals

  • Provide a safe and clean living environment able to withstand harsh weather conditions
  • Give families an opportunity to increase their income
  • Empower local communities to support poor families
  • Prevent children from dropping out of school to contribute to a family’s income
  • Secure family housing so that they can focus on other responsibilities: children’s upbringing, family finances, planning for the future

Key Stats

2,700       Number of people who have been provided a new Compassion Home since 1994

Number of homes built for impoverished families

Amount it costs to construct a Compassion Home for a impoverished family




Eight families who lost their houses in Typhoon Ketsana received EMW-built compassion homes. Read more.


“My family feels very comfortable living in this new Compassion Home. From now on, we do not feel unsafe about typhoon and floods anymore, although this area frequently has natural calamities.”

Pham Ngoc Vinh, a disabled father from Quang Ngai Province whose family home was destroyed in Typhoon Ketsana

Read more testimonials

East Meets West

1611 Telegraph Ave., Suite 1420, Oakland, CA 94612
Tel: 1-800.561.3378  |  Tel: 510-763-7045  |  Fax: 510-763-6545

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