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Working Toward a Common Purpose

Su Jeong Kim was looking for a career stepping-stone when she applied to Habitat’s international volunteer program. What she got is a life lesson on what can happen when people work toward a common purpose — and a love for noodle soup and motorbikes.

Habitat’s international volunteer program places volunteers like Su Jeong in one of the countries where they work for durations of six to 12 months or more. Some volunteers use their construction skills as builders and site assistants. Others apply their professional skills in social media, grant writing, volunteer coordination, research and other administrative roles.

For Su Jeong — who is from South Korea and holds a graduate degree in international development and cooperation — volunteering with Habitat Vietnam has been a way to pursue her interests in sustainable urban development and human health. “Habitat is trying to improve the living standard — economic, social and environmental — of the community,” she says...

Su Jeong has translated documents and worked on ways to strengthen the relationship between Habitat Vietnam and Habitat Korea. She also has worked to identify Korean companies doing business in Vietnam that are interested in supporting Habitat’s work and volunteered on house builds sponsored by Korean businesses...

The best part of her experience, she says, has been meeting people, some of whom will be lifelong friends.

“All these people are getting together with one purpose,” she says, “to help improve the conditions of the places that people call home.”

To read the full article and to find out more about Habitat's longer-term international volunteering opportunities, click here!

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