Our 8th Housebuild

Written by Zoe Stathis

15 year old Channy has been on our program for 2 years. She lives at home with her mother, father and her two siblings. Until recently, the family’s house was far too unsafe to continue living in.The family home was mostly made out of bamboo and wood, and the walls and roof were made from palm leaves. The whole house was littered with holes, and Channy’s mum was worried about the approaching wet season. In the past, when the rain would pelt down the family’s only means for staying dry was moving their mattresses to the other side of the house where there were fewer holes in the leaky roof. The foundations of the house were also breaking down, causing the house to slope.

Channy’s mother does not work, but instead looks after the children and grows vegetables for them to eat.  Channy’s father is a construction worker, but work is irregular and does not pay very much. Without a stable income coming through to this household, Channy’s family would never have been able to afford a new home on their own.However, with the donation from a generous sponsor and our partnership with World Housing, last month Channy’s family was provided with a brand new home!

From Phnom Penh, our team drove for over 6 hours to reach Channy in Siem Riep. We were able to elevate the land and make it even by bringing in 10 trucks loaded with soil and laying down a new solid foundation. We then created a concrete base underneath the house which can be used as an outdoor kitchen, as is customary in Cambodian villages. The new house was fitted with a drainpipe, designed to collect rain water and then deposit it into a large blue jar which the family can use for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

Channy’s mum commented, “I am very happy Free To Shine built this house. My old house was very old, and some parts were completely broken. If the new house hadn’t been built I still would have been moving my bed around the house during the wet season. Now my family doesn’t have to worry about the rain. I never expected to have a strong house like this. Thank you very much.”

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