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Battambang, Cambodia

November 15, 2014 to November 24, 2014

Katie and Joel are currently recruiting fun-loving, hard-working teammates to join them on an awesome Asian adventure to Cambodia! No experience is required, just a positive attitude. Our primary objective will be to build a home for a family in need but experiencing the culture, meeting the people, developing our team and having fun are equally important. Please join us to build a home for a family in need and experience what it builds within you in return!

About Cambodia
Cambodia is located in southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The mighty Mekong River dominates the country’s fertile landscape, and the Angkor Wat temple complex is one of the most treasured and visited sites in the entire region.

Ninety percent of Cambodia’s population is ethnically Cambodian and Theravada Buddhism is the religion of about 95 percent of the people. Khmer is the official language, though French is still spoken in urban areas and English is increasingly popular as a second language. The climate in Cambodia is tropical.

This Global Village team will be volunteering in Battambang, in northwest Cambodia. Battambang town is at the heart of Cambodia’s “rice bowl,” and even though it is the country’s second biggest town, it still has a very local, non-touristy, provincial atmosphere. Much of the architecture is French colonial and traditional Cambodian.

About Habitat for Humanity Cambodia
Habitat Cambodia aims to reduce poverty by empowering communities to improve their access to affordable and basic services and better living conditions. Habitat has already started a program of building new homes and rehabilitating existing homes in Cambodia.

Still, housing problems are widespread. In Cambodia, rural households account for nearly 90 percent of the country’s poor, with 85 percent of the population living in rural areas.

Types of construction for volunteers
Cambodian Habitat houses are usually 31.5 sq. m. in size. The walls are made from fired brick with a reinforced concrete post. The layout consists of a living room, bedroom and kitchen with a toilet.

Work on a Global Village trip may involve laying bricks and mixing mortar, digging foundations, pouring cement or plastering the walls. It is a fun and extremely rewarding way to contribute to Cambodian society.

Standard itinerary
Day 1(typically Friday): Depart for Cambodia.
Day 2 (Saturday): Travel day.
Day 3 (Sunday): Travel to host project site; welcome and orientation with local staff; dinner and free time.
Days 5–8 (typical workdays, Monday –Friday): Breakfast at accommodations or local restaurant; work from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at local restaurant; time for team activities.
Days 9 (Saturday): Free days for activities in local community and sightseeing.
Day 10 (Sunday): Depart for home. 

Note: Cultural experiences during the trip may include market tours, museum visits and historical sites, as well as other outdoor opportunities. The final building day will also feature a farewell ceremony with partner family members.

Global Village teams to Cambodia can expect to stay in a local hotel with team members sharing rooms and bathrooms. Breakfast and dinner are usually eaten at the hotel or at a local restaurant, and lunch is usually provided by the affiliate and taken on the work site.

Program cost
For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.

Share your story and keep Habitat building
You’re building something exciting with Habitat, so tell people about it! Create a page on Share.Habitat to tell friends, family and coworkers about your Global Village trip. Fundraising your program cost will be easy, and additional funds you raise will keep Habitat building after your team returns home.

Team leaders
Joel Fechter is the operations manager for the National Service AmeriCorps program at Habitat for Humanity International. Joel recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with Habitat after a 27 year career in manufacturing. Joel’s first mission trips were as a high school student to Appalachia with his church youth group. Joel has continued to volunteer through his church and Habitat ever since. Joel has participated on three Global Village trips to El Salvador, Kenya and Costa Rica. This will be Joel’s first GV trip as a team leader.    

Joel is a native of Pittsburgh PA, grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and spent 10 years in Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta in 2013 to join Habitat. Joel studied chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and earned an MBA at Case Western. Joel enjoys staying active and being outdoors biking or hiking on a nice day. 

Katie Kowalski is the volunteer services director for the Milwaukee affiliate, and has been in this role for six years. Katie started volunteering with Habitat in college, served for two years as an AmeriCorps member on the construction site in Milwaukee, then worked with the Detroit affiliate for two years in the fund development department. One of Katie’s greatest passions is Habitat’s international work. This will be her fifth Global Village trip as a team leader, leading other trips to Armenia, El Salvador and Kenya. She has also participated in the Carter Work Projects in India and Thailand. Katie also serves on the Habitat AmeriCorps Alumni Council and National Service Host Site Council.

Katie is a Detroit native, studied sociology at Michigan State University and in her free time enjoys DIY projects, crafting/creating things, board games and gardening.

For more information on this build contact Katie and Joel via email at

To apply for a GV trip, please follow the Application Instructions.

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