Dean’s ea­ger to get back to Cam­bo­dia

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Dean Ea­ger will make his bi­en­nial trip to Cam­bo­dia in Novem­ber to help build homes, and he will be tak­ing along some­thing that make him even more pop­u­lar – foot­balls.

While tak­ing presents for the fam­i­lies gifts is dis­cour­aged, Mr Ea­ger gives a bag of foot­balls to the lo­cals and said that al­ways went down a treat.

The lan­guage bar­rier might be restric­tive, but take out a football and you could bring any na­tion­al­i­ties to­gether, he said.

The Western Sub­urbs Soc­cer Club’s ju­nior con­vener and Gre­nada- based busi­ness owner pre­vi­ously jour­neyed to Phnom Penh in 2009 and 2011. This is his sec­ond trip as a team leader.

The Pau­ata­hanui man will lead 10 New Zealan­ders – bankers, mothers and busi­ness own­ers among them, all from the Porirua basin.

The Smile Vil­lage Pro­ject, on be­half of Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, brings to­gether hun­dreds of vol­un­teers from around the globe to build 50 homes in a week.

The homes are built from con­crete blocks and have cor­ru­gated roofs, and out­door toi­let fa­cil­i­ties.

There were chal­lenges, Mr Ea­ger said.

‘‘In 2009, the tem­per­a­ture was in the 40s and un­til you get the walls up, you’re ex­posed to the heat. I went through nine litres of wa­ter in my first day.

‘‘And then you’ve got the snakes and scor­pi­ons com­ing out of the cold at night; you don’t see them un­til the next day.’’

Mr Ea­ger said it was his chance to give some­thing back.

‘‘When you leave this planet you know it [ the house he helped build] will still be there. You’re giv­ing one fam­ily a chance to have a health­ier life and the kids are bet­ter for it.

‘‘It’s a big com­mit­ment to go over there, but when you hand over the keys, that’s what it’s all about.’’

Con­struct­ing homes for Habi­tat is some­thing tan­gi­ble.

‘‘I don’t want to bag other aid or­gan­i­sa­tions, but when we build th­ese homes, they will last for gen­er­a­tions. It’s some­thing very real.’’

Mr Ea­ger said the pro­ject’s open­ing day is at­tended by the coun­try’s king and there is a great chance to mix with other vol­un­teers from around the world.

Some of his team will take the op­por­tu­nity to see Thai­land. But he will be on the first flight back, with fam­ily and busi­ness com­mit­ments re­quir­ing at­ten­tion.

Each mem­ber of Mr Ea­ger’s team will fork out $4500 to go to Cam­bo­dia.

To find out more, vol­un­teer or make a do­na­tion, go to habi­tat. org.nz.

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