On the 9th of July, a strong team of 7 Grasshopper Adventures women left the Siem Reap office for the day and exchanged bicycles for carpentry tools. The mission was to construct a house for a local family in a small community called Trang Village. Our staff works very hard every day to ensure Grasshopper operations run smoothly, so this was a great chance for our team to leave the office to give back to the local community.
The money for the construction of this house came from an insurance company called MS Amlin who has close ties with Grasshopper Adventures. Claire, the Leader in Training for the Cambodia office, is the daughter of someone who has worked for them for over 10 years and introduced this project to the company. MS Amlin very kindly donated $1,300 towards construction- a sum that would change a family’s life. This provided all the materials and professional contractors as well as lunch for the builders. All of this for a young family who had been homeless for 5 years. With one young child and one more on the way, we wanted to ensure they had a safe space to live as a family. Claire saw the opportunity for the Grasshopper staff in Cambodia to help build the house and asked the team who would be interested. Unsurprisingly, many were keen to help and give back to their country. Providing a house empowers the family, and gives them the opportunity to have a more hygienic and healthy environment in which to raise children.
Partnering with KidTea school, Bamboo and Trunk Travel for the build, all hands were on deck to get the building finished that day. The frame of the house had been erected the day before, so our team members were in charge of sanding the floorboards, nailing them, and painting underneath the house- all while making sure no one fell off the ladder! A typical Khmer house is placed on stilts to prevent the house from flooding in the rainy season and to keep insects out, especially termites!
After a well-deserved lunch, the real progress started. As the walls were nailed into place, the shape of the house began to emerge. Every worker and volunteer put in their best efforts to ensure the building was finished in time. A very hot and humid day meant they were sweating all the way through, but the team members motivated each other and the house was finished around 5pm.
We are very proud of our team and we hope we can get back out there soon to do another build!
About the author - Claire Wyatt
Based out of Siem Reap, Claire is the Leader in Training for Cambodia.