On Friday, April 17, 2016, forPeace volunteers joined forces with Tabitha Foundation for another successful house building expedition in Cambodia’s remote Putrea Village. Volunteers from around the world experienced Cambodian culture first hand as they worked side by side with local villagers and families enrolled in the Tabitha Savings Plan.
In addition to giving service, volunteers had the opportunity to develop in-depth insight into the aftermath of the Vietnam War and genocide of the Khmer Rouge; the current challenges of poverty, gender disparity, and inadequate healthcare, and potential solutions; the impacts of international interest in land and natural resources; as well as the political influence in the region. One volunteer wrote, “I am leaving Cambodia with greater awareness and understanding of the heart-breaking history and survival of a beautiful people. forPeace has given me an opportunity do something to promote self-reliance and economic stability. I am grateful to have been part of this humbling and rewarding work.”
Cambodia continues to feel the effects years of war and genocide have had on its economy, infrastructure, and its education and healthcare systems. The demand for quality housing is rising as the country’s population continues to heal and increase. The Cambodian government has said an additional 1.1 million houses will be required in the next 14 years to accommodate an additional 18 million people within that time period.
Since 2003, an average of 1,000 houses are being built every year through Tabitha’s Family Savings Program, which is designed to teach families how to save a small amount of money each week to provide for their basic needs, increase their sources of income, and ultimately purchase wells and rebuild dilapidated and inadequate houses. The Savings Program impacted 541,908 families with 4,335,264 dependents from 1994 to July 31, 2016. Since 2003, an average of 1,000 houses are being built every year.