Under the leadership of Jim and Elaine Pollock (Team Jim Pollock -July 2018) there were 18 of us all together for this year's Tabitha House Building Project in a village outside of Kampot province in Cambodia.. We built 13 houses of which funds were raised or contributed to by each member of the team. The cost for each house and also a water supply per house was $2000USD. This could be shared between two team members. Each member also paid for their own expenses such as air flights, hotel accommodation, buses, food etc
The families that had houses built for them were part of the Tabitha Savings Pogram. These families save $30USD toward materials and volunteers such as our team fund the balance of the costs. We travel to Cambodia to help finish building the houses. The result is a shared experience and understanding between cultures.
Part of the funds supplied also goes towards a water supply to enable each family access to clean water which help eliminate many illnesses. This also allows the families to increase theit income through raising livestock and growing crops year around.. We arlso feel very priveledged to be a part of paying it forward in this way..
Some highlights from this build
Pascal and Claudiine Dufroux live in Queensland and were both part of the Tabitha House Building Project (Team Jim Pollock) in July 2017. Claudine was also a part of the team in 2016.
Through Jim's association with the Tabitha Foundation Cambodia and founder Janne Ritskes we learnt about the new Women's Hospital - Nokor Tep being built. Completion is hoped to be for March 2018 and Pascal and Claudine offered their services, first as volunteers to help clean and then to plan, educate, train and provide tehnical advice to Cambodian staff.
Below is an email Jim received from Pascal. Pascal and Claudine Dufroux have a cleaning business called Innova Services Group. which is now being run by their daughter with Pascal still overseeing it.
The start of a journey...
Hope you're all good. Some updates about the Hospital.
As Claudine mentioned to you, Janne and I have been exchanging emails for the last few days. To be honest and I understand the situation, she really doesn't know exactly what's going to be ready by early March.
See below one of her last emails we received:
When she's talking about our expectations, I think she was afraid for us to go there as "professional cleaners" and be scared by the messy site we might (and I'm sure it will) find there.
So I reassure her that we have no expectations at all, We have dealt with bigger building sites here in Australia and we will go first as volunteers to clean. Then we can manage, plan, train and provide technical advice for the project.
I have now received the floor plan of the hospital and will do some planning before going but I have no doubt that the "fun" will start definitely once there. I'm sure with positive attitude, a bit of a "French flair", lot of experiences ......and elbow grease ...YES WE CAN
We will be bring your money (thank you very much) and hopefully some from our side as well as I am sure equipment will be needed.
I asked her about chemicals and equipment collected here in Australia and ship to Cambodia but she wasn't too keen and would prefer to buy locally to get the same suppliers for years to come....fair enough.
So basically not much we can do from here until February I guess
Pascal & Claudine"
Click on picturese below to get more information about Innova Services Group
Cambodia- Tabitha House Building July 2017
A while back Jim and Elaine wanted to do a charity thing
Invited any of their friends, colleagues to do some building
Build houses in Cambodia for poor farmers in Kampot
They need anyone who can come and help a lot
We all came together at a place to eat
Jim introducing each of us with a greet
Twenty One of us in total as a group
Some ate meat, noodles, frog or soup.
We all went to the Tabitha Foundation headquarters
Saw beautiful things made from silk, there were wallets, purses and pyjamas
Janne spoke to us about the foundation, Cambodia and Pol Pot
Many people now helped but before some killed, tortured or shot
Visited the Toul Sleng Prison for men, women or children
What a place, many sad memories, cruel and sullen
So many people, so many lives destroyed and lost
Innocent people, young or old came with a cost
Taken from prison to an unknown area, field or place
Moments to live, looking sad, feeling hardship they did brace
Many a body lies in a huge grave or pit
Those poor unfortunate Cambodians with bones broken or split
A lovely visit to the hospital that Janne is getting built for women only
So much to do, organize and I’m sure sometimes for her quite lonely
What a huge achievement this women with help can build
By workers, volunteers and labourers that are quite skilled
Travelled in three buses to Kampot through markets, provinces and rice paddy
House, farms, roads that are looking a bit shabby
Learning a bit of Khmer the language here
Sounding really weird and a little bit queer
Walking to a place for some good food
Talking, joking and above all in a good mood
Someone lay dying after a motorbike crash
All of us around, we were there in a flash
No Cambodians helping or trying to sort it out
The family of the man will know what happened, no doubt
Feeling a bit sad, the mood was quite grim
Thinking about that poor man -we didn’t even know him
Met Addheka- a women who has had tragedy in her life
She has helped and taught a lot of people that may have been in strife
She is an inspiration to all her friends, colleagues and how she helps the poor
Educating people in her school, her aid projects, it isn’t a chore
Got to meet Sakun, a man with lots of courage
He got people dancing, making videos –he did encourage
Has had a lot of support in his work at Epic Art
Now is a volunteer at PPCIL which is just the start
Time had come to build houses made of wood and tin
Hammering in nails and trying not to hit your skin
Up ladders, into the house, banging it together with satisfaction
Our team going great and even with some locals interaction
Built 15 houses for a village, the humidity and heat
Did some drawing, some skipping which was a feat
Gave the families a beautiful embroidered blanket for the floor
They were so grateful, so humble and yet quite poor
Visited a school, which had not a lot of room way out in a village
Sang songs, did some movements, left equipment which was our privilege
Some of the team went to the mountain to see across the valley
Walking, climbing, cold and looking around which was right up their alley
On a river cruise to relax, have a drink and chill
Saw fireflies flickering that could not keep still
Pouring with rain, having fun dancing on the boat
Choosing a song from someone’s phone with a musical note
Last meal together having a great time and chat
Saying goodbye to all and giving them a hug or pat
Everyone has had a fantastic time doing the humanitarian thing
Our determination and what we could achieve we did bring
You came away from this trip with maybe a new direction or drive
Helping others, less fortunate than us and happy to be alive
A wonderful experience, helping people whose lives may be grim
It has been such a privilege -THANK YOU so very much ---Elaine and Jim
Written by Anthea Hill- Tabitha/Cambodian Trip 2017
Anthea and Stephen Hill with one of the Village families July 2017