Sopheap lives with his wife, Tum, and their 3 month old daughter in Cambodia. While Tum looks after their daughter, Sopheap works as a construction worker, earning around $100 AUD a month. However, work is sporadic and his income varies month to month. “In a month, I can only work 7 to 15 days,” Sopheap said.
Sopheap and his family are currently living in a house of wood and bamboo with a thatched roof. He and his wife are often sick but don’t have the money to buy medicine due to their living conditions which require them to constantly repair their home.
Wanting to provide a better home for their daughter, Sopheap used the inheritance he received from his mother and bought a plot of land adjacent to his grandmother’s house. “Our lives are difficult. We have nothing after we got married. This land is the heritance of my husband’s mother. She gave us all these kitchen kits and cooking materials, otherwise we have nothing,” Tum said.
Sopheap and his family are excited to build a new home with the help of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity – he could not believe that it was becoming a reality until the tools and building materials were transported to their home. “I’m so happy and I can’t describe the feeling now. We are looking forward to living in our new house soon.”
With a safe and decent home, their daughter will not only have a place to read and play but the money saved will also give her the opportunity to go to school and receive an education. This is why a home is a stabilising force and truly transformative for families.
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