House Building

Quick Facts on How to Arrange a House Building Trip

Families engaged in the Tabitha Savings Program eventually save towards a house.  They must contribute $A40 to the cost of their house.

Volunteer teams from Australia raise the balance of the funds required and then travel to Cambodia to build the houses.  This is a rich and rewarding experience that individuals often say is the best thing they have ever done.

Arranging a Team

What sort of groups form house-building teams?

  • Schools and companies
  • Rotary and other volunteer organizations
  • Church groups
  • Family Teams
  • Individuals

What is a typical Tabitha Cambodia house-building trip schedule?

Tabitha Cambodia has developed a very successful “formula” for house-building trips. Typically, this includes:

Day 1
Half-day taken up at Tabitha Cambodia with an orientation briefing by Janne Ritskes.
Half-day taken up by visits to Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21)

Day 2*
Travel day to regional city/town (if building away from Phnom Penh)

Day 3 & 4
Building houses

Day 5
Travel back to Phnom Penh. End of trip.

* if your team is staying in Phnom Penh, delete Days 2 and 5

Does the team need experience building?

Tabitha building teams do not actually “build” houses; they “complete” houses by nailing on the walls and floors. Prior to the team’s arrival, a Cambodian builder under contract to Tabitha (the “Contractor”), actually builds the foundations, frame and roof.  Your team should include some members who are comfortable using a hammer  and at least some who are comfortable working from ladders.  The contractor (and the families) will guide and direct you.

How many people can be in a team and how many houses can my team build?

Teams build between 6 and 40 houses depending on:

  • Size of the team
  • The amount of fundraising the team can do
  • The length of the trip

Teams members usually have been anticipating the trip for months, it is therefore important to ensure that the they feel as though they have worked hard each day. It is disappointing to the team to finish building too early in the day, so make sure that you build enough houses to keep the team busy.  A rough guide is:

Team Size




Houses Built

5 to 15

7 to 30

10 to 35

What are the actual costs for houses?

Tabitha Cambodia has requested volunteer house builders to donate a water source with each house donated. The cost of the package is $A2,500. Specific house costs depend on the cost of materials and the remoteness of the village. Any excess funds are used in the Savings and family partnership program.
Housebuilding funds must be remitted to Cambodia six weeks prior to housebuilding date. Tabitha Cambodia needs to get government approval, buy and move materials and build the frames of the houses at least 6 weeks before a team arrives.
Tabitha Cambodia decides what kind of water source and where they will be built based on the needs of families.

What are the additional costs?

Budget for:

  • Airfares to and from Cambodia
  • Accommodation , meals and travel in Cambodia
  • Travel and accommodation before and after the house building trip

Next Steps

Contact  Tabitha Australia by email at to organise and confirm a building date and itinerary.
Tabitha Cambodia has over 100 international building teams per year and so:

  • Plan 6-12 months ahead
  • Try to be flexible with dates

Prior to Building Every Participant Must Complete A Code of Conduct Declaration

Complete Code of Conduct
Would you like to build houses in Cambodia ? We'd love to hear from you!
Contact Us