St Stephen’s School students build family home in Cambodia

St Stephen’s School Year 12 students travelled to Cambodia this year.
St Stephen’s School Year 12 students travelled to Cambodia this year.

A CAMBODIAN family who were living in a small unsafe house now has a new home thanks to a group of St Stephen’s School Year 12 students and staff.

The group of 25, from both the Carramar and Duncraig campuses, travelled to the Taskor village where they met other volunteers from RAW Impact.

St Stephen’s School Year 12 student Jordan King was all smiles on his trip to Cambodia.

They were given a crash course in the use of power tools and reading plans before getting to work on the bamboo home, which took six days to build.

“Students were divided into teams with a Khmer builder to instruct and assist,” St Stephen’s Duncraig head of science Charles Biddle said.

Staff members Eleanor Glacken, Sue Libbis and Charles Biddle.

“Topped with a tin roof for protection from the elements, the home has two floors, split into sleeping and living spaces, and is on stilts to avoid floodwaters.”

This was the school’s fifth service trip to Cambodia and the fifth home built.

“It was an amazing opportunity to see this part of the world and to gain a non-tourist insight into how other people live and how we can make a difference in other’s lives,” Mr Biddle said.

“(I gained) an appreciation of how fortunate we are in Perth and seeing the students come back and reflect and grow was very satisfying to witness.”

Student Demi Egar said handing the new home over to the family was a heart-warming and emotional moment.

“We gathered in a circle so the family was able to thank us and tell us what the house meant for them,” she said.

Hilton Jordan and Josh Baldwin with Analiese Flanagan and Munish Senghani in the background.

“It’s amazing what we accomplished considering at home we would probably just be watching Netflix and sleeping.”

The group also spent two days planting 120 bamboo trees for another RAW Impact project.