Thank you donors! - video report
30 houses were built in the Ta Chesse village in Kampunchenang, just out of the capital city, Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
This was a sustainable, community led project - each beneficiary family raised $30 USD towards building costs, with the remainder funded by the Tabitha Foundation and volunteers.
Footprints contributed $5250 through micro donations and this was dollar matched by Travel Insurance Direct for another $5250 (the total fundraising through all activities was $58,000)
A house frame, ready for the walls to be hammered on.
Partnerships and Volunteers:
The Tabitha Foundation is a charity that helps Cambodian families who are still living with the repercussions of the Pol Pot regime. The volunteers were a group of 18 final year high school students from Australia.
Snap! Cambodian kids fascinated at seeing their image in the back of the camera.
"In late November, 2011, 18 Mosman High students crossed the last T's and dotted the last I's and walked out of their last HSC exams. For over a year we, along with our parents, Mosman High and all our supporters had been planning and fund-raising for a House Building Project with the Tabitha Foundation in Cambodia. Little did we know the impact and experience this alternate "schoolies" experience would give us.
We raised a total of $58 000, allowing 30 houses to be built in two days and provide a contributution to other future projects. Although we had no building experience, what we lacked in building skills we compensated with enthusiasm and commitment. We were prepped with a motivational, yet grounding talk from the founder of Tabitha, Janne Ritskes, who explained the history and current situation of Cambodians today.
The two days of hammering walls and floors on stilted frames in the hot sun provided lots of personal and group challenges, but with the help of local contractors, the support and immense appreciation of the villagers was motivation to 'hammer on'.
The days were physically and emotionally exhausting, but the most overwhelming and humbling moment of the trip was the closing ceremony. In the closing ceremony each family was presented with a blanket set by each member of the Mosman High team.
"When the rain comes we won't have to worry about our houses washing away, we will be able to sleep very well!" said a local villager receiving a new house.
This statement put their need into perspective for many of us students who have never experienced or witnessed the kind of conditions these villagers live in.
It was an experience that will be cherished for ever by the Mosman High team and it is undoubtedly the first of many projects to come. It was unanimously agreed that the experience was far beyond anything a regular schoolies vacation could have offered.
We extremely thankful from the support we received from Footprints, their parents, the teachers at Mosman High and the Mosman community."
Mosman High Student
Mosman High student Lilly and a villager in front of her new house
A group of 18 Year 12 students at Mosman High School will this year be building houses for people living in poverty in Cambodia instead of participating in the annual end of year "Schoolies" week. The students are aiming to raise a total of $32, 000 to fund 21 houses, with all the money directed towards the building materials.
Your contribution will be matched
Footprints and Travel Insurance Direct is aiming to raise a third of the amount required for the total project. To do this, Travel Insurance Direct will match all donations made by its customers for this project. The goal is to raise $10,500 to buy the materials for the students to build seven houses.
Goals and objectives
Building seven houses will change the lives of 35 Cambodian’s. Families will have a place to sleep and shelter from the weather.
The students of Mosman High School have chosen this experience for Schoolies week because they make a positive change to the global community and to embrace this opportunity, benefiting all involved.
Cambodia was chosen by the students because they empathised with the people of Cambodia who have lived through the tyranny of the Pol Pot reign. Many locals still live in houses built from palm fronds with inadequate hygiene and sanitation.
The students would like to see this program develop into an annual school trip, so that future students have the opportunity to end their schooling life in a positive and unforgettable way.
How was it this funded?
Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.
- Travel Insurance Direct AU
- Travel Insurance Direct NZ
Tabitha Foundation Australia supports more than 33,000 families (representing over 264,000 Cambodians) in their journey to a better life, including food and income security, safe water, housing and education for the children.
A testament to Tabitha Cambodia’s success is that it has lifted over 300,000 Cambodians out of poverty and despair into lives of dignity, joy and active participation in their communities.