It seems only fitting that comedy helped play a part in funding house number 136 – Cambodians are, after all, renowned for their humour even when the chips are down.

Members of the Mt Lawley Rotaract Club in Perth, Western Australia funded the house, located at Svay Thom, in a village about 10 kilometres east of Siem Reap.

Club president Kaitlin Bawden says the comedy nights, titled Comedy for Cambodia, were a huge success.

The idea to contribute to a project in Cambodia first arose for the club two years ago but they got serious about organising it after they found Volunteer Building Cambodia last year.

Kaitlin says another big fundraising success for them was a wine tour through Perth’s Swan Valley, where they visited five wineries. The day trip raised AU$1000 towards the house build.

Raffles and a Go Fund Me page helped the group reach a fundraising total of more than AU$4000.

Kaitlin was one of five in the Mt Lawley Rotaract group who visited Cambodia and built a house. They were all touched by the people, the culture and their experience with VBC.

“We love it,” Kaitlin says.

“I think everyone of us wants to move back here for a few months.”

“It’s my first time in an impoverished country,” she says. “The culture is so inspiring.”

And the experience with Volunteer Building Cambodia exceeded their expectations.

They did not expect to be so involved with the house build and actually do the hard physical labour involved in constructing the house.

“We were expecting that we would jut be here,” she says.

They soon learnt it is all hands on deck at a VBC build. And they have loved that they have contributed to the actual building.

“I haven’t done manual labour before but it’s good because we’re actually involved,” she says.

She says she had many questions about privilege guilt and whether they are actually helping or making a difference being here and she wanted to make sure the project is helping not hurting.

But she is thrilled with the way VBC operates and that we are working hard to help people while also enabling volunteers to get a real taste of Cambodian culture and see a slice of village life.

Thank you Kaitlin and the crew from Mt Lawley Rotaract club. We love the work you did for us and you have made an incredible difference in the lives of a family.


If you want to help change a life, we would love to hear from you.