Bo’ness surveyor’s Cambodia trip will aid life-changing scheme

A Bo’ness-based surveyor is set for the adventure of a lifetime building safe homes for vulnerable families in Cambodia.

By Roy Beers
Friday, 25th January 2019, 3:42 pm
Updated Friday, 25th January 2019, 4:45 pm
The Cambodia volunteer group from Cala fly to Cambodia next month.
The Cambodia volunteer group from Cala fly to Cambodia next month.

Stuart McKie, Surveying Manager at CALA Homes (West), has been selected to join the CALA Build 2019 team, which next month travels to the Battambang province of Cambodia in February.

They will create a new home for a local family currently living in an informal settlement, in a project organised in partnership with international charity, Habitat for Humanity.

Stuart and the team will help to build walls, lay blocks, instal doors and windows and fit roofs, in a scheme that will transform the lives of those set to benefit.

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He said: “Everyone should have access to a safe and secure place to call home, but that is sadly not the case for many people living in poor communities.

“I can’t wait to meet and work alongside the family we’ll be building a home for.

“It’s rare that you get the chance to make such a difference to someone’s life whilst having the experience of a lifetime yourself, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve is a relatively short space of time.”

The CALA Build team has been busy fundraising ahead of their trip and the total raised will exceed £20,000.

Around £15,500 has already been collected, and a further £5,000 will be added through CALA’s Matched Funding Scheme for employees.

The cash will go towards helping the work of Habitat for Humanity in Cambodia as well as international crisis zones where they are unable to send in volunteers but can assist with other types of aid.

Jim McIntyre, Managing Director at CALA Homes (West), said: “The CALA Build project is closely aligned with CALA’s company values, and we’re delighted and hugely enthusiastic about supporting the initiative with Habitat for Humanity.

“Stuart was selected to be part of the CALA Build 2019 team as he consistently demonstrates the CALA values in carrying out his work.

“We’re looking forward to regular updates from the team once they begin the build.”

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

Almost a fifth of the population – or 2.8 million people – still live in extreme poverty, and an estimated two million houses are in critical need of improvement to meet minimal quality standards.

It’s estimated that more than one million homes will be needed by 2030 as a result of population increase and rural urban migration in Cambodia.

More than 22 million people have secured new or improved housing through Habitat for Humanity since the organisation was founded in 1976, with more than 8.7 million people served in the last year alone.