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Yip Say’s Story | A New Lease on Life

Yip Say, an elderly woman from one of the poorest families in her village in Battambang Province, Cambodia, was struggling to ensure her families health due to her degrading house and very minimal income. 

Yip Say’s family, consisting of four people, one daughter and two granddaughters were all supported on the single income of her daughter; who worked as a labor seller making an income of $80 USD per month. Because of this low income, all her granddaughters left school in grade six to join their mother in working; bringing the family an occasional, additional $20 USD.  

Living on such a small income meant the family could only afford their daily food and anytime someone became sick, health treatments would send them into debt.  

Alongside their financial situation, Yip’s family was no longer allowed to live on her land and was required to move to a new location within the same community; because of this Yip never had a chance to build a new house herself further affecting the happiness and wellbeing of her family and forcing her to move out of the community into an isolated, informal housing settlement.   

Due to their financial insecurity Yip Say and her family were offered support from a Cambodian housing organisation, however the construction of the house was lacking and within five years the condition began to seriously degrade. Many parts of the house leaked when it rained and due to the location of the land plot, it constantly flooded during the rainy season.  

In 2021 Yip Say and her family were identified by a community leader for housing support. By February 2022, Habitat for Humanity had completed building for her a new home on a safer, more level plot of land.  

Habitat focused not only on building a shelter but improving overall quality of life. Since being in her new home Yip has started to enjoy life more and reports a big change in her emotional wellbeing.  

“I’m very grateful to live here. I’m worried about living on someone’s land, not scared of living alone. There are many people around me”. 

– Yip Say

Yip Say now takes a lot of pride in her home, spending time growing plants, cleaning and organizing and even saving some money to build fencing for security and to improve the land around her home to make it more resistant to flooding. 

This project receives support from the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and is in partnership with our implementing partner Habitat for Humanity Cambodia to provide access to safe shelter.  

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