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Meet the Cambodian family that we’re building a home for

Tbeng Kert village is approximately 39.5 kilometers from Siem Reap and positioned in the Tbeng commune, Banteay Srei district of Cambodia.

Meet the Cambodian family that we’re building a home for

Around 1,661 people live in the village, working in factories, in construction, or farming rice and collecting cassava.

Most villagers live in housing shelters made of wood and palm leaves, leaving their homes vulnerable to the harsh weather and insects. As part of our three-year partnership with Habitat for Humanity GB, we are building homes in the village. Through our build, and with Habitat’s support, we are helping provide access to adequate housing, health and opportunities for villagers.

This year, our first team of Touchstone volunteers are building a new home for Lok Heanh and Soeum Poeun and their two young children. Soeum Poeun is a sole provider for his family, and has to work away from home, where he earns just 12,000 riels (3 US dollars) per day. He rarely has time to come to visit his family, and they cannot save enough money to buy a new house on their own. The family is one of the poorest by their village’s standard as they do not even own a toilet or have electricity.

Lok Heanh and Soeum Poeun
Lok Heanh and Soeum Poeun

They currently live in a self-constructed house that is made from palm leaves and small structures to keep it all together. During strong rains or typhoons, the house leaks, impacting on the health of their two young children. They dream of having a new home, but they live hand to mouth and cannot afford it. Lok Heanh says:

“It is like a dream comes true to hear that Habitat will bring a group of volunteers to work on building us a new house. I feel so happy and blessed.”

Team Touchstone says their time so far has been “Exhausting, emotional, and challenging” They are loving getting to know each other better, and to learn and understand Khmer culture.

John Midgley, who is leading the trip, added:

“It’s very hot here but the build is going well. It’s great to be leading a Touchstone team who clearly understand the need to help the most vulnerable in society, wherever they are.”

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