A hopeful future

Growing up with nine other siblings, Sreang’s parents could not afford to enrol her in school. As a result, Sreang, now 36-year-old spent most of her childhood working to support her family in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Sreang married at a young age and sadly in 2004, her husband passed away in an accident, leaving Sreang her to raise their young daughter on her own.

As Sreang struggled to make ends meet, her brother supported her for three years.

“Without the support from my brother, I might not have been able to make it on my own,” she said.

In 2012, Sreang met her second husband, Mao who cares for Sreang’s daughter as his own.

Sreang and Mao both work to support their family, but still struggled to earn enough to build a safe and secure home. Sreang raises pigs for other owners in her own backyard, while Mao works as a part time construction worker in the nearby village. The family lived in a self-built tiny cottage on a small plot of land. With inadequate building supplies, the small house had old zinc as walls, broken wooden floors and holes on the roof. This proved to be a nightmare for her family, especially during the rainy season.

“In addition to the leaking, the cold and mosquitoes were another problem for us,” Sreang said.

“We were very happy when we found out that Habitat for Humanity Cambodia was going to build a new home for my family,” Sreang stated.

“This new home will give my entire family a new hope. We never thought we would have enough money to fulfil our dream of a proper home”, she added.

New Start, New Life is a three- year project that began in April 2016. Based in Cambodia, it seeks to improve the living conditions of vulnerable families by providing secure land and housing as well as access to clean water, sanitation and livelihood training. To date, 22 homes have been built, repaired and renovated.

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