It was an unforgettable experience for the thirty-one parishioners, students and past students from the Catholic Parish of Pittwater and Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood who recently travelled to Cambodia.
The combined parish and school house-building trip to Cambodia proved to be a privileged opportunity to serve the very poor in a developing country and was the direct result of the generosity of the $48,000 raised by the parish and school communities prior to travelling.
In the remote village of Kirirom the group spent two days building the thirty houses. The houses constructed were simple. The raised footings (to accommodate the wet season) and frame including the roof had been completed prior to arrival by local tradespersons, utilising local resources and techniques.
Mater Maria Business Manager, Mark Suters reflected on his second house-building trip to Cambodia helping to make a difference for the very poorest of families.
“The house-building took place in a rural region of Cambodia, which still remains home to some of the poorest of the poor – those who face multiple challenges in every sphere of their lives. They have no access to electricity or water. “
“Our job was to hammer the floorboards into place and sheet the exterior in corrugated sheets. It was hot sweaty work though tremendously rewarding, even more so because family members were eagerly looking on awaiting the completion. “
The families the group built for had participated in a unique family savings program arranged by the Tabitha Foundation, a program that invites the poor to overcome despair and contribute to their own future. Each family must contribute US$25.00 to the project which usually takes a couple of years to save.