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Sokhorn’s story

In December last year, Global Village volunteers travelled to Cambodia to build Sokhorn a new home. This is her story.

Sokhorn was born in Kandal Province, about 50km outside Phnom Penh. She attended school until grade 4, when she had to start working to support her family. Sokhorn began selling boiled corn and rice cakes on the streets, and although she worked long hours she earned only a small amount of money to help her family.

Sokhorn married young, and continued to work many jobs to earn whatever money she could. In the mornings, she sold fish and vegetables at the markets and in the afternoons, she would walk to the fields to collect crabs. She also worked on a farm harvesting rice.

Sokhorn and her husband had four children and it became increasingly difficult to provide for them. Eventually, Sokhorn’s husband decided to look for work on the border of Cambodia and Thailand where there were more opportunities.

Her husband spent a few years working at the border, and when he returned home, he was sick. Sokhorn spent their hard earned income caring for her husband. After he kept falling ill, Sohkorn and her husband took a blood test and found out they were both HIV positive.

Sokhorn’s husband passed away in 2008 and she was left to raise the four children, and take care of her elderly mother on her own.

Sokhorn and her family lived in a house solely made of palm leaves. When it rained, water would leak through the roof and flood the house. During rainy season Sohkorn, her children and her mother spent many sleepless nights trying to find cover from the rain in their home. The home was wet, damp and muddy, and the family often fell ill from these conditions.


When her children fell ill, Sokhorn felt powerless as she couldn’t afford to take them to the doctor or buy them medicine. All of Sokhorn’s income went toward paying expensive rates for water and electricity. Each month, she would just have enough money left to feed her family.

During those nights when rain would flood the house and she would hold and shield her children from the elements, Sokhorn dreamed of having a safe home for her family.

Last December, Global Village volunteers travelled to Cambodia to help turn Sokhorn’s dream into a reality.

They spent a week working alongside Sokhorn and her family to build a safe and decent home that would offer protection against the elements. The house would also have access to water and electricity.

“I feel like I was born again to have a home” said Sokhorn. “Thank you to Habitat and the Global Village team for supporting my family. This cannot be compared. I wish much happiness and longevity.”


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