Cambodia -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
First of many: Dy Van oun, his wife Chour Chakrya and his family are among the first families to be housed with the support of HFH Cambodia.
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THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is an ancient land with a young population. The median age of its people is 21 years. Regardless of their age, Cambodians are often poor.
According to the 2006 Human Development Report published by the United Nations, about 34 per cent of Cambodians live on less than US$1 a day in 2004.
After the fall of the communist Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, there was an influx of migrants from the rural areas to the capital Phnom Penh. About 250,000 people, or 20 per cent of the city’s population, live in squatter settlements, slums and other poor urban communities. They lack secure tenure or basic services as they settle in every conceivable empty space, from courtyards and rooftops, to the sides of railway tracks, river banks and swamps.
Habitat for Humanity International has a branch office in Cambodia, which was registered in January 2003. Habitat’s program aims to reduce poverty by empowering communities to improve their access to affordable basic services and better living conditions.
In the next few years, Habitat aims to serve 5,000 families in five provinces – Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap, Ban Teay Mean Chey and Phnom Penh. Habitat will provide technical assistance to 3,000 families who are building their own homes or help them with water and sanitation improvements. For the remaining 2,000 families, Habitat will help them to build new homes or renovate their existing houses.
Habitat is also developing new partnerships with local authorities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, corporate donors and sponsors, churches and volunteers.
A Habitat house is usually 31.5 sq. m. in size. The walls are made from fired brick with a reinforced concrete post. The layout comprises a living room, bedroom, and kitchen with a toilet. Habitat home partners have a mortgage payment that is pro-rated to their income. The average repayment is approximately US$22 per month over a period of about five years.
HFH Cambodia welcomed its first Global Village volunteer team from Australia in July 2006. Since then, it has also hosted volunteers from the from the US, Australia and elsewhere.
• HFH Cambodia plans to build 324 houses in urban areas of Phnom Penh, in partnership with an anonymous Australian charitable foundation.
• HFH Cambodia hosted its first Global Village team from Australia in July 2006. The 17 university students completed construction of two houses in the slum resettlement community of Sen Sok, about 20km. west of Phnom Penh.
• The program in Cambodia gained unusual publicity in May 2004 during the “Great Cyclo Rally of Cambodia”. Ten teams rode the ubiquitous pedal-powered taxis between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh featuring stickers in French.
Population: 13,99 million (July 2007 est.)
Capital: Phnom Penh
Area: 181,040 sq km.
Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Languages: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
Updated June 2007