In 2000, Salest, 43 was involved in a motocycle accident which left him unable to work.
This left his wife Sreyno, 38 to support the family on her own by selling bananas and potoates. Despite working long hours, this sadly wasn’t enough and Salest and Sreyno had to make the decision to pull their oldest son out of school to help support the family.
Even before this, times were tough for the family, who initially moved to a slum area in Cambodia after Salest’s mother had to sell their family home in order to repay a loan.
“Our situation became worst after my husband had the accident. I’ve to handle the family myself,” said Sreyno, mother of four. “Two of the children are in school. I wish I could send all my kids to study, but it’s tough at the moment.”
As the family resided in an informal settlement they did not legally own the land on which they lived. Slums are not recognised by the government meaning the home could not be connected to public utilities including water and electricity, forcing Sreyno to put her income toward paying expensive private rates. With an unsteady income and the threat of forced eviction constantly looming, they were unable to invest in building a home better than their makeshift shelter of old wood, zinc and scraps of fabric.
“Where we can move live if they chase as out? We do not have money or proper job to buy land or build another house,” said Sreyno.
Thankfully, with the help of Habitat for Humanity, Sreyno was able to first apply for a plot of land she could legally call her own. Shortly after this, with the help of Habitat for Humanity South Australia through the Homes for Homes program, Sreyno was able to build a safe and decent house with access to water, sanitaton and electricity.
“We are incredibly excited and have enthusiasm for life now. Thank you for giving us this new hope and opportunity,” said Salest.
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