House Building

​​​The House Building program brings volunteers from around the world to help construct houses for families participating in the Savings Program. Community elders and Tabitha staff select the neediest families, who are to receive a house, from within a community. Each family will, over the course of several years, have accumulated enough savings, usually US$40 –US$100, to buy a small piece of land and some of the building materials. 

Teams of 12 to 20 volunteers contribute the remaining funds of $1,500 per house, and complete four or more houses per building trip. This donation covers three elements essential to a family’s journey out of poverty:  Housing;  Water; and participation in the Savings Program. Tabitha hires local contractors to construct the foundation and frame the structure, and volunteers can then install floors and walls over the course of two or three days’ time. ​​

A typical house-building trip will begin with an insightful orientation session from our founder Janne Ritskes that usually takes place in Phnom Penh and includes an opportunity to visit some of Cambodia’s sites of interest. Volunteers will have the chance to learn first hand about the causes of, the results of and, most importantly, the solutions to poverty. The team will then travel to a project site to carry out the work. Most teams can build four to six houses per day. 


  • To provide an in depth and meaningful experience for foreigners visiting Cambodia. The team members will experience not only the tourist attractions but will come to understand and befriend Cambodians - both the poorest and the middle class.
  • To educate volunteers about poverty and the issues involved - it is an education in the causes of poverty, the results of poverty and solutions to poverty.
  • To become partners with Tabitha-Cambodia in our outreach - team members become volunteer sales people as well as fund raise for various projects.To give Cambodians the opportunity to teach foreigners the skills of house building - rather than being taught by the foreigners - develops a deep sense of pride.

The families chosen represent the very poorest in their communities as well as being role models for their courage and faith in their own ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

How to embark on a housebuilding trip ?  

We ask that volunteers form their own groups of 12 to 20 people independently, and then contact Tabitha Cambodia well in advance to arrange a time. The volunteers must cover their own travel and accommodation costs, but we can help arrange the booking of hotels and buses for the teams.
As outlined under Ways To Help , our house-building program can also add a whole new dimension to corporate team-building activities, adding not just to the performance of your team, but to your whole organisation's corporate social responsibility priorities.
Interested in learning more, or getting involved ?