Founder | Director | Building Manager
VBC’s charismatic founder and director, Sinn Meang, works tirelessly to improve the lives of fellow Cambodians. Like many Khmer people he knows first-hand what it is like to be poor. Born during the Khmer Rouge rule, he is the youngest child in a family of four. His father died when he was very young and he grew up in a poor family in a rural fishing village.
Sinn’s junior high school was 25 kilometres from his home and he would wake early to get there. Without his own bike to ride he often had to get a lift on the back of someone else’s bike. Eventually this became too difficult to organise and he stopped going to school. When he wasn’t studying he worked in the rice fields or went fishing in his village. He spent two years living with the monks at a pagoda before moving to Phnom Penh where he decided a career in construction would help him out of poverty. He learnt many aspects of the construction industry and eventually was in charge of construction of a four-star hotel in Siem Reap.
He took charge of volunteer building projects for another organisation before starting Volunteer Building Cambodia in 2014. Sinn is an ideas man and his innovative, forward-thinking attitude has seen VBC grow from strength-to-strength. Under his guidance the organisation has built more than 100 houses for Cambodians in need. In November 2016 the organisation opened a community centre and warehouse to provide education and skills for villagers.
Sinn is married and together with his wife, Nareth, they run a successful tourism business. They welcomed their first child in February.
Sinn sees a sustainable future where his people are able to take care of themselves, and in turn help others.
Rorm joined VBC in June 2017 to take on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. His fun-loving nature and ability to mix and communicate well with people has ensured he is a popular addition to our team. He loves talking with volunteers to improve his English, joking with everyone and he has a passion for sales, so he’s going to be spreading the word about VBC. While Rorm works fulltime for VBC, he is also studying business administration at university at night. He is one one of five children and the only one in his family to get a university education. Rorm’s education has been sponsored by another NGO since 2011 and this year he decided to become a working student so he can support his family. Rorm comes from a poor background in rural Cambodia and can relate to the families that VBC helps. He is passionate about helping people and helping his society and wants to make a difference to those who need it.
Our much-loved builder, Bunthoeun, has been with VBC since the organisation started. Prior to joining the NGO, he made and sold sugar cane juice, earning about US$6 per day. Hard working, he gets stuck into any job, big or small. His wife and three daughters mean the world to him and he works hard to support them and to put his girls through school. A devout family man, his aim in life is to provide the best opportunities he can for his family. Bunthoeun’s happy-go-lucky nature and love of a joke makes him popular with volunteers and co-workers.
Det joined VBC in March 2015 as a builder and truck driver. His fun-loving disposition quickly wins everyone over. On the job site he works hard and happily helps guide volunteers through the building process. Det is developing good leadership skills and confidence and is often in charge of a house build, directing its progress from start to finish. Det gave up university so he could supplement his family’s income. He works three jobs to support his wife, baby daughter and his extended family.
We struck gold when we found our social worker, Keo. His role at VBC is vital. He does most of the legwork, liaising with a range of people, to determine where our services are needed most. Keo talks to village leaders, nominated families and neighbours to ensure they meet our strict criteria. It’s a career change for the 35-year-old who has a background in IT and previously ran English and IT schools as well as a computer shop. Keo is hard working, fair and passionate about helping his fellow countrymen. He enjoys this role where he is able to learn about people’s lives, experiences and stories and help make a difference. He has two children who live with his mother in Battambang and he visits them most weekends.
Bunthorn, or Thon for short, joined VBC in July 2016. The 22-year-old lived in an orphanage near Siem Reap from the age of 12 to 17, where he learnt English from the volunteers. Thon is a hard-worker and has grown into his building role, taking on increasing responsibility and often leading house builds and directing volunteers. He is easy-going and patient with good English skills. He works at VBC during the day and at a Siem Reap restaurant at night. The two jobs help him to support his wife and young son.
Community Centre manager
Under Phirom's guidance our community centre is going ahead in leaps and bounds. Phirom's leadership is paving the way forward for teachers and students. Under her expert guidance, attendance at the school is up, students are flourishing and our teachers continue to develop. Phirom brings 7 years of teaching experience to the centre and her drive, patience and enthusiasm are a great asset.
Community Centre teacher
Lyhong grew up in a village about 50 kilometres east of Siem Reap. Despite the challenges that see many rural girls drop out of school early, Lyhong graduated from high school and is studying at South East Asia University in Siem Reap. She loves children and teaching and hopes to graduate from university with a qualification enabling her to teach all levels of English. She joined our teaching team in late 2016 and loves her new role. She is a role model to young girls in the village, who can see it is possible to get an education.
Community Centre teacher
Sroas joined the VBCCC team as a part-time teacher. When he is not working at the community centre and encouraging our young students, he works at the community government school. He is also studying part-time at Build Bright University in Siem Reap. Sroas has worked in a variety of education positions and is sharing his experience with our new team.