olunteers around the world independently form their own groups - often from within schools, companies and volunteer organisations. The group is expected to raise the funds to support the cost of the project. Every year, over 75 building teams visit from around the world. Since 1996, 11,526 houses were built by more than 24,000 volunteers from around the world.


How It Began

In early 1995, Andy Payne, a teacher with UWC in Singapore, came to Cambodia and learned about Tabitha. Andy wanted his students to come and attain knowledge of poverty through a volunteer experience.

Tabitha Cambodia responded to this request by developing the house building project. The concept was to provide an experience that taught the recent history of Cambodia and combine this learning with a practical
result of the impact on many people there. This was to be done through building a small home for a family in our project.

This is how the House Building programme was born. Tabitha coordinates volunteers from around the world to help build houses for families participating in the Savings Programme. Community elders and Tabitha staff select the neediest families, who are to receive a house, from within a community.
Each Cambodian family receiving a home contributes a portion of the cost, usually between $25 and $100. It may take nearly four years for a family to save this amount, and it is a huge effort for them. The average family earns less than US$1/day.