Students help family dreams come true
A house being built in Elsdon for a needy family could be pictured in a dictionary beside the definition for ‘‘win-win situation’’.
Cannons Creek’s Taing family are having a house built for them by Whitireia students in a Habitat for Humanity project.
Veasna Taing, 30, and Sithoeun Bit, 29, originally from Cambodia, live in a crowded Bedford St house with 13 relatives. The family occupies the basement and must go outside to use the toilet.
The Taings’ three-year-old son Aydin was born with severe dis- abilities – he cannot walk or talk and is intellectually disabled. At present the Taings must carry Aydin up and down flights of stairs whenever they leave the house.
Habitat for Humanity approved the couple’s application last year, and construction should be finished this November. The new house will be wheelchair accessible and has been designed with Aydin in mind. ‘‘It’s very exciting,’’ Mrs Bit says.
The house will improve Aydin’s life, Mr Taing says. ‘‘Now we live in a small place and we have to carry Aydin all the time. Aydin will feel better when we’re in our own place.’’
About 150 Whitireia trades students are building, plumbing and wiring the house at their campus on Mohuia Cres as part of their course work. It is the second house they’ve built for Habitat for Humanity, and gives them a chance to work on a real-life project at a time when the recession lessens opportunities to visit building sites, Whitireia chief executive Don Campbell says.
To top it off Whitireia has given Mr Taing a scholarship to study carpentry at its Elsdon campus, so he will find it easy to contribute the 500 hours required of Habitat for Humanity partners.
Ascot Park is the final destination for the house, where it will be independently valued and the Taings will begin paying off their dream home.