To Build, To Learn, To Inspire

Habitat for Humanity Cambodia gained a new supporter in Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation, KCSC. The company sent a 30-member team comprised of its enthusiastic and highly dedicated employees to build alongside 3 families voluntarily relocating from urban slums to Trapiang Anhchanh community in Phnom Penh on May 20 to 25.

The three families they built hand-in-hand with are husband and wife Leng Mon and Nget Chea, who moved from Russey Keo district, Sem Sophearum and husband Seang Lem from Russey Keo district and Toun Pouv from Steung Meanchey dumpsite.

The team was in for a busy week. Aside from the build, they engaged themselves with the community, with HFHC and with partners from the government. The team spent two afternoons in Trapaing Anhchanh Primary School located nearby the build site where they played and interacted with the kids during their break and also provided all the children with gift packages containing school suppliers and sports materials, t-shirts, shoes and toys. Some of the team members taught about 40 students simple land allocation and planning through a fun game.

Some of the members also visited the old settlement of one of the home partners at the Steung Meanchey dumpsite. Their visit allowed them to understand, more closely, the underlying housing problems faced by Habitat home partners like Toun Pouv. They went with her around the dumpsite to see the place where she collected rubbish. They had an intimate, fun time talking with Toun Pouv and her seven children and at the end of the day, were thankful for the experience they gained and the lessons in life that Toun Pouv and her children unknowingly taught them over a snack of fruits. At the end of the visit, one of the team members emotionally shared their hopes for Toun Pouv’s family, “we wish their family will be able to have a fresh start in their new home, because they do not deserve to be in this condition.”

Apart from engaging with the community, KCSC team also transferred their knowledge to HFH Cambodia construction staff by providing a practical training on land survey.

Despite the unfriendly weather during their 5-day build, the team committed themselves to working until 8:00pm on the last day just to complete all 3 brick houses in time for the house dedication, which was led by their President Mr. Kim Young-ho and HFHC Country Director, Bernadette Bolo-Duthy. H.E. Nuon Someth, Vice Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality and H.E. Han Soo, Kim, Korean Ambassador also joined the special gathering. Mr. Young Ho Kim, KCSC CEO shared, “Our Company sees the need to extend our support to vulnerable families in other parts of Asia. We wish to continue this effort towards Cambodia by helping create awareness on housing issues in our home country in support of HFH Cambodia and its housing and community development programs.”

The 3 families each now own their plot of land on which their homes were built. Each home has sanitation facilities, a connection to safe water and electricity. Each home owner contributed their time and energy in building their house. “The 3 families is part of the over 2,000 families we have served that have fulfilled their dream of having safe, decent house,” said Bernadette Bolo-Duthy. “Habitat for Humanity Cambodia aims to reduce poverty by empowering families and communities to improve their access to better living conditions. Thanks to the home partner families who worked hand-in-hand with the 30 volunteers from Korea Cadastral Survey  Corporation, we are again a step closer to achieving our goal,” she added.

The commitment and team spirit of KCSC inspired the home partners to start building their future in their new homes. They are also inspired to dream bigger and work harder. “Having our own house means we face a good chance to make our lives better,” said Toun Pov. “Very soon, I will be able to save for my children’s future.”

In line with the KCSC build, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia facilitated the donation of 5 land survey equipment (Topcon Total Station GTS 313), to the Ministry of Land Management Urban Planning and Construction through its Land Allocation for Social Economic Development (LASED project), a partner in the Battambang land rights project. The hand-over was held at the MLMUPC after the dedication. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Prak Ham, Secretary of State of MLMUPC, H.E. Han Soo Kim, Ambassador of Korea, Mr. Kim Young-ho, Korea Cadastral Survey Corporation President and Ms. Bernadette Bolo-Duthy, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia Country Director. The donation of equipment was complemented by a practical training session on land survey conducted by experts from KCSC to MLMUPC’s Land Allocation for Social Economic Development (LASED) project staff in Trapaing Anhchanh Village, Trapaing Krosaing Commune, Phnom Penh.

During the hand-over, H.E Prak Ham, Secretary of State of MLMUPC, took the opportunity to thank KCSC and HFH Cambodia for the land survey equipment. He says that the MLMUPC and the country’s land management projects will be able to make use of the equipment to improve their project output and increase their effectiveness in serving the poor in their Socal Land Concession projects.