December 17: Unable to come and build in Smile Village themselves, our Global Village team from Doshisha University held a fundraiser for the project instead on the streets of Kyoto City, Japan, where they raised over $1,200 for HFH Cambodia.
17-23 December: A 15 member Global Village team from Kaywon School of Art and Design traveled from Gyeonggi-do, South Korea to Siem Reap and worked to construct two brick community toilets. On the last day of the build they had a formal dedication in the afternoon, where the team shared local fruits and snacks with the community and learned some traditional Cambodian dances. Later in the day they also had the opportunity to visit a local primary school in a nearby district, where they were able to spend time with the schoolchildren teaching painting and having some fun making balloon animals.
18 – 24 December: A Global Village team from Singapore Management University was in Siem Reap, working to build new brick toilets. While there, the team had the opportunity to do a home-stay at Wat Svay village On the last day of the build, there was a community celebration where they shared local fruits, snacks and dancing with the villagers and skilled workers.
04 – 11 January: A fourteen member Australian GV team, calling themselves “Team Amok” worked alongside home partners and skilled workers to complete a wooden house in Kandal Province. At the end of the week they held a new home dedication with songs, dancing, and a farewell meal with the family.
December 06: In recognition of their efforts at Mekong Big Build in November, a celebration was held for our youth group of volunteer translators where they received certificates of appreciation. The event was also an opportunity for them to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, make recommendations for future build events, as well as talk openly about the present state of youth community service in Cambodia. After their presentations on the highs and lows and a Q & A session, the fun continued with guitar music and singing. The work of our interpreter team during the Mekong Big Build was invaluable.
December 03-04: The progress on the first cluster of homes in Smile Village got some big help Texas-style, from an enthusiastic team of volunteers from MegaCARE Missions of The Potter’s House Church. Over two sunny, hot days this group of fourteen volunteers sponsored by the HFH Dallas Area affiliate worked alongside our home partners, adding to the work of the Mekong Big Build 2013 volunteer teams. The walls of the Smile Village homes grew ever taller thanks to their effort.