Our 10th Housebuild

Written by Zoe Stathis

16 year old Lai has been on our program for 3 years. She lives with her mother, 12 year old sister and 19 year old brother.  When our EOO’s (Education Outreach Officers) met with Lai, straight away they knew her house was in desperate need of repair, but her mother didn’t have the means to afford this. Up until a few months ago, Lai’s mother was earning a small wage making baskets, but intense pain in her hands meant she was forced to abandon this work. Instead, she now works selling grilled chicken, but the income from this barely covers the cost of feeding her family. On top of this, their home was rapidly becoming more and more unsafe. They had no door, the wood that made up the staircase was decaying, and there were many holes in the roof and walls. With the wet season approaching, we knew we had to change this situation.

So with thanks to our partnership with World Housing, and a donation from a very generous donor, we are proud to announce that we were able to provide Lai and her family with a brand new home!Loading up our trucks with the materials needed for the house build, our Cambodian team travelled to Lai’s village for over 6 hours. They laid a concrete base underneath the house so that it can be used as an outdoor kitchen, which is customary in Cambodian villages. Finally, the house was fitted with a pipe to collects rainwater and deposits it into a large jar, which Lai and her family can use for cleaning and drinking.

Lai’s mother commented, “I am very happy Free To Shine built this house for us to live in. The other house we were living in was very old and small, and it was sloped. I had plans to build a new house but did not have the money for it. I never expected to have such a strong house for my family. Now I won’t need to stay with my neighbour when the rains and winds come. Thank you very much.”

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We have many other girls on our program like Lai and in need of a new home. If you think you would like to donate to our house builds, please head to or email