Our 7th Housebuild

Written by Zoe Stathis

Sreyhon and her family were living in a small house that was on the brink of collapsing. It was riddled with holes, had no electricity and no toilet. When they needed power, they relied on a battery. When they needed to use the bathroom, they had to ask the neighbours. This was the reality that they faced every day.

Sreyhon has been on our program for two years. She is a hard working girl and enjoys going to school, but recently her family has been faced with some difficult challenges.2 months ago, Sreyhon’s father passed away leaving her mother as the sole provider for Sreyhon, and her two other siblings. Earning little income in the rice fields, Sreyhon’s mother did not have the funds needed to rebuild her run-down home. She also suffers from an illness that prevents her from working as often as she would like to, and as a result struggles to provide enough for her three children.When we first assessed the house, it was in very poor condition. It was not made of strong materials and there were holes in the wall. The foundations were also decaying making the house likely to collapse in the future. Sreyhon’s mother’s biggest fear was the safety of her family in the upcoming wet season where heavy rainfall and strong winds would have almost blown this house away.With thanks to a generous sponsor, and our partnership with World Housing, we were able to provide Sreyhon and her family with a new home!

In February, 10 trucks made the 6 hour journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to build this family a new home. Truckloads of soil were laid down to elevate the house, where we installed a concrete base to be used as an outdoor kitchen or living area, customary in Cambodian villages. The house itself was built with sturdy materials such as insulated tin and wood. The house was also installed with a large pipe to collect rainwater and deposit it into a large jar, which the family can use for cooking and cleaning.

Sreyhon’s mum commented, “I am very happy Free To Shine built this house. I was so sad that I didn’t have any money to repair or build a new house. My husband just passed away so I never expected to be able to live in a good and safe house again to avoid winds and storms. Thank you very much.”

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