Proper housing is a basic need but yet, in Cambodia, hundreds of thousands of villagers cannot afford a proper house. Poor villagers live in shacks that most of us would not deem a house. Made from thatch as bricks and wood are expensive, they offer little shelter from the rain and need constant repair. Besides the physical discomfort, it is degrading and shameful to be seen in such a shack. Lonely grandmothers are shunned by their neighbours and children avoid schoolmates from seeing where they live.
OHF selects the poorest of the poor and builds a comfortable wooden house for them.
House Building Programme
OHF’s house building programme in Prey Veng, Cambodia is well accepted by the community. The villagers appreciate that we do not use the cheaper zinc materials for the walls and roof. They also like the “cooling” wooden floors and walls.
The programme starts with detailed surveys to identify the poorest of the poor. Photos of their current house and details of their income are recorded and submitted for management approval. The house building selection is also approved by the village and commune chiefs. We have our own team of dedicated and honest staff on the ground to carry out the project.
One grandmother said that with the new houses, her neighbours would come and visit her more and that she is not as lonely as before. No longer ashamed that their friends would see their decrepit shack, one mother also said that her children stopped skipping school.
One villager shared how she wrapped herself in plastic whenever it rained and often fell sick during the rainy season. Poor health leads to medical expenses which she can ill afford. As daily rated labourers, poor health also leads to a reduced income. Her children were shy to show their classmates the ramshackle shack which is their house.
It is for these reasons that OHF started a house building programme in Cambodia. OHF house building programme has brought joy, hope and self-esteem to hundreds of poor villagers.