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Kuching, Malaysia

February 20, 2010 to March 6, 2010

Come and build with a fun but hard-working team in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Come and see Malaysia in a way that is very different to the tourist experience and find out more about the people of this tropical wonderland that is off the beaten path of typical world travel destinations.

We are looking for team participants who would like the opportunity to help Malaysians in need of decent housing; to work closely with local residents, and to build lasting friendships with fellow teammates. No previous building experience is necessary, but a willingness to work hard and a sense of humour is.

About Malaysia
Tropical, resource-rich Malaysia is a nation of two geographic regions. Peninsular Malaysia borders Thailand and boasts large cities and an active agricultural, industrial and service economy. The other half of Malaysia is located across the South China Sea, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam.

The entire land mass of Malaysia is about the size of the U.S. state of New Mexico. Its climate is tropical, with annual monsoon seasons in the southwest from April-October, and in the northeast from October-February.

Kuala Lumpur is the pride of Malaysia. It is the capital and the main port of entry in and out of Malaysia. It is known as a modern capital, and was just picked a few decades ago as the coun¬try’s capital.

About Habitat for Humanity Malaysia
HFH Malaysia built its first house in 1999 in Kuching, Sarawak. There are affiliates in Kuching (1999), Kuala Lumpur (2003) and Kota Kinabalu (2004).

HFH Malaysia works in both semi-urban and rural areas, building houses along with renovations. It also seeks community partnerships to obtain land for needy families. In rural Sarawak, for example, nearly one third of Habitat’s target group consists of families with insufficient incomes to build on their own land or unable to afford other housing programs.

Habitat affiliates use various construction methods: raised floor construction with timber; concrete slab construction with hollow blocks; and modular house construction with polystyrene panels. The average house size ranges from 50 sq. m. up to nearly 60 sq. m.

Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers will help build homes with hollow block walls with cement plaster finish and wood frame houses on stilts. Habitat Malaysia uses various construction methods, including raised floor construction with timber; concrete slab construction with hollow blocks; and modular house construction with polystyrene panels.

Standard itinerary
February 20, Saturday
: Arrive in Kuching; free time; dinner.
February 21, Sunday
: City tour; free time; team orientation
February 22, Monday
: Travel to work site; welcome and orientation with local staff; build in afternoon.
February 23–26, Tuesday–Friday (work days)
: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
February 27–28, Saturday–Sunday
: Free days; cultural activities in local community.
February 29–March 4, Monday–Thursday
: Breakfast served before traveling to work site; work from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
March 5, Friday
: Finish build work in the morning; farewell lunch with families; free time for local activities; farewell dinner.
March 6–March 7, Saturday–Sunday
: Free time for local activities; departure.

Accommodations
The team will be staying in a quality local hotel with air conditioning; participants share double-occupancy rooms and a private bath.

Trip cost
$1,650
Trip cost includes: donation to the Habitat host program and HFHI; meals; accommodations; transport (excluding trip participant air fare); medical emergency evacuation and trip cancellation insurance; some local cultural activities and team coordination and orientation materials. The team leader’s trip cost and estimated air fare may be included in the trip budget. The trip cost does not include trip participant air fare, R&R activities or visa and exit fees (not applicable for all destinations).

Team leaders
Neale Kemp has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for the past decade as a board member and active volunteer with the Grey Bruce affiliate in Ontario, Canada. Since the 2004 tsunami, Neale has been on a First Builder team to Batticaloa, Sri Lanka and another to Khao Lak, Thailand in 2005. He led teams back to Thailand in February 2006 and February 2007 to continue the disaster relief work and has since led large teams to undertake construction work in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia in February and October 2008 and My Tho, Vietnam in February 2009. Neale is Australian, currently a resident of Canada and runs his own marine engineering business out of Owen Sound, Ontario.

The team will also have a trainee team leader on this trip to Malaysia. Heather McIlhany is an avid international traveler who volunteered on her first Global Village trip in February 2009 in the Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam. The Global Village trip built on her past volunteer work, including serving on the board of YMCA Urban Services in San Francisco. Heather is American with dual UK/US citizenship, and she has lived in San Francisco for the past thirteen years since graduating from Yale University with Bachelors’ degrees in political science and international studies. She works as a senior marketing manager at Netflix and can be reached at hmcilhany@hotmail.com.

For more information about this Global Village trip to Malaysia, contact Neale at nealekemp@aka-group.com. While preferring to communicate by e-mail, he may also be reached on his home phone at 519-376-0028 (evenings only).


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

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