Today I had the pleasure of heading out to the village where David lived.
David is an 18 year old man. When you are introduced to him you'd be forgiven for mistaking him for a 12 year old school boy. David may have a small stature but he has a mighty heart, strong bearing shoulders and let's not forget that broad affectionate smile that warms your heart and leaves you smiling like a chester cat.
Many years ago, David's father abandoned the family and no one knows where he is. Since then, David has taken care of his 6 siblings, his mother and grandmother. He works every day, traveling around 30km on his bike to get to and from work and still finds time to study and learn english. He is an intelligent man with a real zest for life and for learning and he hopes to go to University to study Law in the future.
A few weeks ago, a destructive storm hit Siem Reap and left certain villages in disarray. It was during this storm that David's home was destroyed. Basically the home collapsed like a a deck of cards and the family was left homeless.
There is often a a genuine spirit of community in these villages and David's neighbors have allowed him and his family to live temporarily in the space under their home that is built on stilts.
Word about David's situation soon reached the ears of Barb and Chris and they immediately went out to the village to inspect the damage. It was apparent that something had to be done for this family.
So with funds raised through the KICK program, Barb and Chris helped David purchase some bricks and concrete. Soon a working bee was organised and over the weekend just passed, the initial stages of the building went up. Of course imagine trying to build the house in the hot humid weather and with basic tools and hard manual labor, a slow process but efficient.
Today, 4 days later since the commencement of the building, we went back to check in with David and his family. We were amazed to see the progress of construction and the house was definitely on it's way to having all the walls up in no time at all.
He was excited and proud to show me his plans of the house he had drawn, complete with accurate costs, a financial budget and estimates of future costs for the roof. An intelligent man with determination and motivation.
I was also humbled by David's gratitude. I was referred to as the girl who ran the crazy distance of 200km. David was extremely grateful and thankful for the funds he received to help him and his family build their new home.
We were also impressed with his business sense and over the past couple of weeks he has been able to raise some funds and seek some financial assistance himself.
We will be back in a few more days to see how David is going, but he is an enthusiastic, hard working, educated young man who has the commitment to get things done.
David and his family thank you all for your generous donations that have help assist him and his family build a new home.