Our 9th Housebuild

Written by Zoe Stathis

When our Education Outreach Officers (EOOs) met with Konthea, she was living in a very unsafe extension of her aunt’s home with her mother. They immediately knew that Konthea’s was at risk and that something needed to be done to ensure her safety.

12 year old Konthea is in grade 4 and has been on our program for 6 months. After her mum and dad’s divorce, Konthea was staying with her aunt and her grandmother until her father took her to live with him and his new wife. Konthea did not get a long well with her new step-mother, so her birth mother who at the time was living in another province, moved back to Siem Reap province be with her daughter.Sacrificing the income she was earning, Konthea’s mother could not afford to properly house herself and her daughter. Our EOO’s found Konthea living in a hand made extension of her auntie’s house, with no walls and barely any shelter at all. Essentially, the “house” was an elevated platform, held up with bamboo stilts. There was no proper roof for shelter, only a few sheets held up by bamboo to create some shade from the sun.This living situation was extremely unsafe for Konthea and her mother.  Anyone passing by would have access to their belongings, or worse, could easily hurt them. With the wet season approaching, they were worried that they would not be able to afford a new house in time.However, thanks to our partnership with World Housing and the generous donation from a donor we are very pleased to announce that we were able to provide Konthea and her mother with a brand new home!

We loaded up our trucks with the materials needed and embarked on the 6 hour journey from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, and then out to Konthea’s village. We laid a concrete base 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 jar, which Konthea and her family can use for cleaning and drinking.Konthea’s mother commented, “I am very happy that Free To Shine built this house. I have always dreamed of having a house but could never afford it. Now my dream has come true.”We have many other girls on our program like Konthea and in need of a new home. If you think you would like to donate to our house builds, please head to or email