In Cambodia’s impoverished Prey Veng province, children and families live in conditions that no one should ever live in.
Every day, these families sleep, study and eat their meals under roofs that leak, inside palm leaf walls – unstable homes that cannot protect them from the rain and wind. But because of Holt’s generous donors, many families in this community now have hope. Working alongside local partner Child and Life Association (CLA), Holt donors recently provided new homes and necessary renovations for six of the most vulnerable families in Pre Veng province.
Through these new and safe living conditions, these families’ lives have dramatically changed.
Before the renovations, the homes of these families were all seriously damaged or about to fall apart. The families often worried that their small, unstable homes were not a safe place for their children.
A windy day often made the old walls shake and move, causing families to wonder whether or not their home would stay upright. When it rained, they struggled to stay dry. Rain water would easily make it through the roof and walls, and they would often wake up drenched in the middle of the night – just to find a drier sleeping space. The cold and wet conditions made them vulnerable to disease.
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But with the new home repairs, families now live in leak-proof and sturdy homes. “When it rains, we don’t worry about rain leaking through the roof and walls,” a member of one family said. “Without Holt and the CLA, we would’ve lived in a damaged home for our whole life.”
Families could repair their houses with materials they found, bought or borrowed from relatives. But in a community where many families live in extreme poverty, few had the resources they needed. In this community, many families struggle to meet their children’s basic needs of food and education — much less repair their homes.
But the community is also close-knit, and during the repairs, people helped each other as much as they could. Community members gave their resources, labor and expertise to the families. And while Holt donors provided the necessary tools to repair the homes, the community contributed over half of the materials.
Through the support of sponsors and donors, families in this community receive support to meet their children’s needs, including everything they need to go to school — including supplies, uniforms, fees and books. At school, children are safe from trafficking and other forms of exploitation that endanger children in this region of Cambodia.
Now, they also have a safe place to go home to at the end of the school day.
“Our children have a safe place to sleep and do homework,” one family explained. “We will never forget Holt’s actions and the sponsors that support us.”
After the six renovations began in October 2018, all of the families received a newly repaired home by the end of November 2018.
“It’s like we woke up from a dream,” one family said. “We now have a bigger and safer place to stay – one that we could’ve never dreamed of before.”
Mai Anh Boaz | Former Holt Team Member
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