Projects

We build traditional wooden Khmer-style houses for some of Cambodia’s poorest people. We are based in Siem Reap, in Cambodia’s north-west, and most of the homes we build are in rural areas surrounding the popular tourist city and famour Angkor Wat. We target the communes and villages with high poverty and where few other organisations operate. Much of our work is done about 25 kilometres outside the city.

Poverty rates are high in rural Cambodia, where many people are still living on less than $1 a day. In many cases the housing is rudimentary at best and many homes are fragile structures with palm frond walls and dirt floors. Many of these houses do not survive the severe rainstorms.

In contrast, our wooden houses are solid and designed to last at least 15 years. The houses we build are four metres by five metres, with concrete footings, wooden sides and floorboards and a tin roof. They include one enclosed room and one room with open sides. The space underneath the house is often used as a daily living and cooking area.

Many rural Cambodian families do not have access to toilets and clean water causing serious health issues and in some cases death.

About 80 per cent of the Cambodian population lives in rural areas and UNICEF estimates only 16 per cent of them have access to adequate sanitation. A 2016 study by WaterAid found lack of sanitation also leads to stunted growth through multiple bouts of diarrhoea caused by drinking dirty water, often contaminated from open defecation. Stunted growth also restricts cognitive, emotional and social development.

When finances permit, VBC tries to construct toilets for families we build houses for. This simple facility increases sanitation, reduces health risks and increases dignity.

A lack of clean drinking water is one of the most pressing issues facing Cambodians living in rural villages. Many source their drinking, cooking and bathing water from pools of standing water, streams or canals. The water is often contaminated with bacteria and pollutants and can lead to ongoing illness or, in extreme cases, death.

Constant sickness impacts lives by preventing adults from working and children from going to school. For those already in poverty it increases their problems.

When funding allows, VBC builds wells to improve the health and wellbeing of those living in village communities. Our wells are made from PVC piping with a concrete base at the surface. These wells have very few moving parts and only a cheap washer needs to be replaced occasionally, making them economical to operate and maintain.

Volunteer Building Cambodia Community Centre (VBCCC) focuses on education in a rural village where there are few opportunities to gain skills.

Located about 25 kilometres outside of Siem Reap VBCCC’s school teaches English language and computer skills to children and teenagers who have limited, or no, access to these classes at their own schools.

Our school compliments the local Khmer school curriculum. English is the international language and necessary for most students planning on attending university as so many institutions use English language textbooks. It is also the language of the internet and will help with job opportunities in the future.

VBCCC has proved popular, with around 200 students attending classes every day. We are incredibly proud that our attendance rate is high and more than 50 per cent of our students are girls.

We build traditional wooden Khmer-style houses for some of Cambodia’s poorest people. We are based in Siem Reap, in Cambodia’s north-west, and most of the homes we build are in rural areas surrounding the popular tourist city and famour Angkor Wat. We target the communes and villages with high poverty and where few other organisations operate. Much of our work is done about 25 kilometres

We build traditional wooden Khmer-style houses for some of Cambodia’s poorest people. We are based in Siem Reap, in Cambodia’s north-west, and most of the homes we build are in rural areas surrounding the popular tourist city and famour Angkor Wat. We target the communes and villages with high poverty and where few other organisations operate. Much of our work is done about 25 kilometres