International Program Mar. 19, 2024

Discover Habitat for Humanity Thailand's มูลนิธิที่อยู่อาศัย ประเทศไทย Remarkable Impact with Recycled Materials

During her vacation to Thailand, our Director of Family Services, Corinne Bjorge, had the opportunity to visit Habitat for Humanity Thailand. She got to learn about their operations, delving into their initiatives and focusing on their groundbreaking approaches to sustainable building. The projects she was shown ranged from creating ramp access for emergency services to fixing leaky roofs and upgrading homes to make them livable. This was a wonderful chance to connect with Habitat families worldwide and experience Habitat's global impact firsthand. She was particularly excited to learn about the innovative solutions Habitat Thailand is incorporating in the way they build new homes.

Sustainable Building

Kittiphun Khongsawatkiat, the National Director for Habitat for Humanity Thailand, and his team generously guided Corinne through two of their projects in Bangkok during her visit to the city. She first toured their project at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women - a community of 43 mothers and their children. While building an emergency shelter for the Association, Habitat Thailand was also able to tackle one of the significant environmental issues facing Thailand - the mountains of plastic waste left behind by beach-going tourists.

Habitat Thailand has decided to help tackle this issue by redirecting waste out of landfills and into the building stream by using lightweight but strong blocks made of plastic and other materials for the exterior paving areas. Moving forward, they hope to use these blocks in other areas of their construction as well. They still face barriers to this, as they need testing and certification of the materials to ensure there’s no off-gassing from the plastics - an expensive process! They are looking for funds to test the materials to be certified for interior use.

Corinne Bjorge, Habitat Vancouver Island North Family Services Director, visiting a Habitat homeowner at Project Urbaan in Bangkok, Thailand.
"I was also given the opportunity to walk through Project Urbaan, which houses very low-income families - often the elderly and people with disabilities. Habitat Thailand has two focuses there. The first is to improve the common areas. I was shown the work done to create separate parking for scooters and the creation of a ramp so emergency services, as well as people with accessibility issues, could access the building. They also showed me an example of the work they do to create better living conditions in individual homes. I was introduced to a woman heading an extended household of nine family members, two with disabilities. She was quite amazing! As well as working and looking after her family, she supported kids and their youth sports teams. Habitat Thailand was able to reconfigure her home so that there were several private areas, changed access to the bathroom so that it wasn't entered through a bedroom, fixed leaks and created storage areas. Their work had a huge impact on that family. - Corinne Bjorge
Corinne Bjorge, with National Director Kittiphun Khongsawatkiat and his team from Habitat Thailand.

Corinne Bjorge, touring project Urbaan with the Habitat Thailand team in the Din Daeng area of Bangkok.