Our 6th Housebuild

Written by Zoe Stathis

Imagine living in a house with just one wall. Just one. If there was a storm, there would be no way to stay dry, never mind your belongings getting completely soaked. When it was hot, there would be limited shelter from the sun. But most importantly, what about the safety of you and your family? Anyone could walk into your home and take your belongings, or worse.This is the reality that Sreytouch and her family have to face. At just 11 years old, the only protection she has at home is a tin roof held up by shaky bamboo posts.

Sreytouch has been on our scholarship program for 7 months and regularly attends school. Although she has siblings, she is the only child living with her mother and father. Sreytouch had 12 siblings, but tragically 6 of them passed away due to their parents not having enough food to feed them. 5 of them have married and moved away, whilst one of her sisters now lives with her aunt in another district.Their income has suffered since Sreytouch’s dad became too sick to work. Mum makes and sells baskets but this only provides the family with very little money. Without help, they would never have been able to afford a new house.

At Free To Shine, we believe having adequate shelter and feeling safe is essential to getting the most out of an education. Thanks to a generous sponsor, and our partnership with World Housing, we were able to provide Sreytouch and her family with a brand new house.The new house was built with Cambodia's weather conditions in mind. 10 trucks carried soil to elevate the house so that it would not flood in the wet season.  A concrete base was also laid underneath the house so that it can be used as an outdoor kitchen, which is customary in Cambodian villages. The house has a pipe connected to it, which collects rainwater and deposits it into a large container which Sreytouch and her family can use for cleaning and drinking.

With this major improvement to their living situation home life, Sreytouch can now continue her studies without fear. Her mother said: “I am very happy to live in a good house like this. My house before was not a real house, and it was difficult to live there when the rain and heat came. Now I don’t have to worry about the house anymore, and can encourage my daughter to do well in school. Thank you very much.”

If you would like to create the opportunity for other girls just like Sreytouch to live in safety and have access to education, head to to sponsor a girl or to gift a Housebuild for a family. #ItStartsWithYou