Bo’ness man completes the build of a lifetime in Cambodia

The team helped build a home for the Yat Yen family.
The team helped build a home for the Yat Yen family.

A CALA Homes employee from Bo’ness has returned from Cambodia, where he has been building a home for a local family in need in partnership with international charity, Habitat for Humanity.

Stuart McKie, surveying manager at CALA Homes (West), worked with nine other employees to build a home for the Yat Yen family, who were previously living in an informal settlement in the Battambang province of Cambodia.

Chea Sal and his wife, Yat Yen, along with their four daughters, were previously living in a small house made out of scrap metal, wood and palm leafs.

Sal is a fisherman during the rainy season and is also a labourer on a local farm. The family survive on an income of just $75 (USD) per month.

As well as building a much-needed home, the CALA Build 2019 team also raised £25,000 which will provide vital aid to the crisis zones across the world, in areas where Habitat for Humanity are currently unable to send volunteers.

Stuart said: “On arrival in Battambang province I was both excited and nervous to get going on the build. We’d seen footage of previous projects, but nothing quite prepares you for the reality of a situation and it was so far removed from our normal lives.

“During the project we got to know the Yat Yen family and working alongside them, the rest of the team and Habitat for Humanity made a daunting situation a truly remarkable experience.

“It was amazing to see how bonds developed in such a short space of time regardless of language barriers.”

Stuart added: “I am so pleased that, as a team, we were able to build a safe and secure place that the Yat Yen family can now call home.”

The 10-strong CALA Build team were selected from employees across the UK for their commitment to the CALA core values of Quality, Delivery, Passion and Respect, in their everyday roles.

Jim McIntyre, managing director at CALA Homes (West), said: “The work that Habitat for Humanity does makes such a huge difference to people like the Yat Yen family, and I am so proud of Stuart and the team for playing their part in such an important project.

“ It’s clear that the team have found the experience extremely rewarding, and most importantly, they’ve provided the Yat Yen family with a safe and secure home.”

The Cambodian Government has estimated that at least 10 million of its people lack access to decent housing.

Katie Chedgey, the group’s team leader from Habitat for Humanity Great Britain, said: “From the very first meeting with the team I knew that they would deliver the best possible results in terms of their fundraising total, completing the building work on site and engaging with the local community.

“With their passion and commitment they have contributed to our vision of a world where everyone has a decent and safe place to live.”