Former construction worker gives back by building homes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Volunteers pose for a picture on the site of a wooden house they are helping to build for a poor family in the Kingdom. Photo supplied

A former construction worker from a poor family has fulfilled his dream of building houses for unfortunate people in the hopes of improving their livelihoods through his organisation.

Volunteer Building Cambodia (VBC), based out of Siem Reap, has constructed 200 homes since it began in 2014. It aims to provide shelter for people in need.

Meang Sinn, the founder, used to be a construction worker in his hometown of Koh Thom district, Kandal province. Despite only going to school up to grade 8, Sinn has used his skills to aid the Kingdom’s people.

“I used to experience difficulties and poor living conditions. Then, I had an opportunity to take part in humanitarian work to help build wooden houses with foreigners for poor people. I saw how people trusted me."

“Later, I decided to start VBC in March 2014, which aims to build houses and clean water wells for poor people in various communities while working directly with donors.”

The organisation has constructed 200 wooden houses across three provinces over its four years of existence. Most are in Siem Reap where the group is headquartered. Additionally, they have dug 40 wells and built 85 hygienic toilets to meet the needs of the communities they serve.

“Building a wooden house with a zinc roof measuring four metres by five metres costs $2,900 which comes from donors. Most donors are from Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Germany. Families with many members often require larger homes,” Sinn said.

Currently, VBC also provides English and computer training classes for children in poor communities. Sinn said the education programme started in 2016 to better prepare youth for the job market.

“In the future, we will still work with donors from around the world to help construct houses for poor Cambodians,” Sinn said.