World Housing: Building a Dream

When families helped by the Cambodian Children’s Fund receive a new home, it’s a life-changing experience. Most of these families have dealt with years of poverty, unsafe housing and constant struggles.

For our experienced team of builders, a new home takes two and a half days of work. These well-built homes are safe and comfortable, with access to a bathroom. For many of the benefitting families, this is the first time they’ve lived in such a place.

“Truthfully, they say they never thought they could live in a home like that,” said Alan, the construction manager for the home building project.

Through a partnership with World Housing, new homes are provided to benefit CCF families for every home the company sells in western countries. The plan is to amp production up to 30 homes a month for a total of 300 homes in 2014. All of this comes together in the factory around the corner from CCF’s headquarters in the Steung Meanchey area of Phnom Penh.

Galvanized steel, hand-made window shutters and other supplies are all locally sourced within the community and the supplies take up about a third of the factory. Once the supplies are in, the step is to cut the materials to the exact length needed for the home. Once cut, the pieces are fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle through welding and drilling.

Construction isn’t complete just yet, as the pieces are brought on to the land – either owned or rented by CCF – and then finished by a second team that has already cleaned up the land and laid down cement to go under the house.

The traditional Khmer houses that can be seen throughout the countryside inspired the home designs. These stilt homes are elevated, with a ladder leading to the room. Underneath, the home is a comfortable area to relax in the shade and cook food.

With the high temperatures in Cambodia, the homes are specifically designed to ensure that inhabitants are kept cool. Spaces in the floorboards and in the area connecting the ceiling to the wall go a long way in keeping the temperatures down and ensuring the families are comfortable.

The impact a completed home has on a family is incredible. At the gifting ceremonies we have, the recipient families are in awe of the new homes. Some of them were living with more than a dozen people in a small room. Others lived in an unsafe place with unsanitary conditions yet still struggled to make rent. Now, thanks to the team of builders, they have the peace of mind that they deserve

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