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Phnom Penh, Cambodia

September 22, 2012

As part of a multi-year project to relocate families from the Steung Meanchey dumpsite in Phnom Penh, Habitat for Humanity Cambodia (HFHC) has been hosting GV build teams to construct homes in the community of Trapiang Anchang. The focus of this specific project is to build three new design houses for partner families such that we can address the major issues of affordability and sustainability: to be able to offer different size houses for differing needs and budgets of partner families and to utilize house designs which use sustainable building products to reduce costs and encourage conservation.

The three houses would all be constructed for chosen partner families and will be located in the community of Trapiang Anchang. This team’s mandate is to work with the partner families to construct these houses over the course of 10 days and ascertain the requirements of future build teams to undertake the construction of these new design homes.


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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. 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.

We will be working in Trapiang Anchang. It is a resettlement project which moves the community people from Steung Meanchey dumpsite to the new location about 40 kilometers from Phnom Penh.

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. 

In Phnom Penh, more than 300,000 people live in slum housing – one quarter of the city’s population. Only 10 years ago, 30,000 people lived in slum areas. 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, however this project will have us working with different building materials such as handmade bricks and bamboo. 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 
(16 day itinerary) 

Day 1 (Friday, November 9): Depart for Cambodia.
Day 2 (Saturday, November 10): Travel day 
Day 3 (Sunday, November 11): Arrive in Phnom Penh; welcome and orientation dinner and free time. 
Days 4–8 (workdays Monday–Friday, November 12 -16): Breakfast at accommodations or local restaurant; work from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at local restaurant; time for team activities.
Days 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday, November 17 - 18): Free days for activities in local community and local sightseeing. 
Days 11-14 (workdays Monday–Thursday, November 19 - 22): Breakfast at accommodations or local restaurant; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m., with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at local restaurant; time for team activities.
Day 15 (Friday, November 23): Cleanup worksite, farewell lunch with partner families, free time and team farewell dinner.
Day 16 (Saturday, November 25): 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.

Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!

Team leader – Neale Kemp 
Neale Kemp has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 2000 as a board member and active volunteer with the Grey Bruce affiliate in Ontario, Canada. Since the 2004 tsunami, Neale has been on and led, a number of “first builder” teams to Sri Lanka and Thailand in 2005-07. Since that time, Neale has led large teams to undertake construction work in Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. This is his 15th GV build in Southeast Asia. Neale is Australian, currently a resident of Canada, and runs his own marine engineering business out of Owen Sound, Ontario. He may be contacted at

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

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