Mekong Big Builds — Cambodia

Help to build affordable rental housing in HFH Cambodia’s Smile Village project from November 3 to 9

Hout Pheoung (left) and his family outside their current house at a former dumpsite.

PHNOM PENH (September 17, 2013) — Twenty years have passed since Hout Pheoung left his home town for the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh but he still regrets his decision.

From scavenging at a dumpsite to selling ice-cream, Pheoung and his wife could hardly make ends meet. The couple and their six children were resigned to living in an unsafe and unhealthy shack at the former dumpsite.

But things are looking up. Pheoung’s family is among the 90 families voluntarily relocating from the Steung Meanchey dumpsite to the Smile Village in Phnom Penh.

Smile Village is located on a 2.2-hectare site just 11 kilometers and within cycling distance from the city center, providing access to jobs, schools and opportunities to develop new skills. Habitat for Humanity Cambodia is responsible for construction while non-profit organization Pour un Sourire d’ Enfant (PSE) will provide educational and vocational training facilities for children and young people.

During the Mekong Big Builds from November 3 to 9, international volunteers will be helping to launch HFH Cambodia’s cluster housing project by building affordable rental homes for these families. Please contact [email protected] for details.

Since 2004, HFH Cambodia has built over 2,000 houses and served over 9,000 families in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng and Battambang. HFH Cambodia plans to serve 125,000 families by 2018.

Habitat’s programs in Cambodia focus on housing and integrated community development; water, sanitation and hygiene including construction of sanitation facilities; advocacy for secure tenure and decent housing; housing needs of vulnerable people including those living with HIV/AIDS and orphans; disaster response and housing microfinance.

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