Wealth And How "The Road Builds Us" :)

Posted by Giang Dang on Nov 26, 2016
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Our Laddership Circle recently discussed multiple forms of wealth, and I was recently reminded of this project we did here in Vietnam that unveils how, "as we build the road, the road builds us." :)

In my work, I love the challenge of doing without money or with minimal money. Few years ago, there is a project to build a city park that got delayed indefinitely because the town didn't have enough money. My group proposed to do it. We had raised only 10% of the planned budget. The town officials were very skeptical but agreed anyway.

So we started by inviting a well-known architect who gave a very nice design which actually saved cost. We couldn't pay the architect, so we asked a hotel owner to donate free rooms for the architect's family during holidays. With a good design, we came around the town asking for donations of trees and plants. While talking to people around town, we asked them to volunteer to clean to site and help build the park. Lots of people came to help: local builders, carpenters, students and gardeners. By the time 50% of the work was done, the project became so popular that hotels and local businesses came to give us donations (in cash, in trees, in labors). We were able to complete the park with less than half the cost proposed by the government. We calculated that 3000 hours of work was contributed by roughly 200 people over 8 month period.

We did similar non-or-little-money projects with playgrounds, concerts and community gardens in our town. This kind of projects often inspire me most, because they bring people together and amplify our love for each other and for our town.

I am not thinking of designing a currency yet, but I love to continue doing non-or-little-money projects that tap into the power of many forms of "wealth". :) 

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Comments (4)

  • Xiaojuan Shu wrote ...

    Thanks for the continuous inspiration, Giang!!

  • Aryae Coopersmith wrote ...

    Thank you Giang -- beautiful and inspiring. :)

  • Yoo-Mi Lee wrote ...

    Thank you for sharing these stories - community building at its best!

  • Patrick Ly wrote ...

    Thanks you very much Giang for sharing this story that resonates with me because I have vietnamese roots .
    May I ask you what's its name and where is this park located ?