As featured in the Guardian Express
 

Meeting a woman who was five years old during the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia and a family who was hands-on in the building of their home, were highlights of a recent trip to the country for Rotary Club of Perth member Jess Karlsson.

The Subiaco resident was part of a small group of Scouts WA, Rotaracts of Perth and Rotary Club of Perth members who travelled to Phnom Phen, Cambodia last year to built houses for villagers living in poverty.

The Tabitha Australia initiative sends teams of up to 15 people to Cambodia to help build houses, paid for by the families who contribute US$25, which takes them about three years to earn, and the remainder (about $1700) comes from the volunteers.

Ms Karlsson, who is chief executive at Balcatta-based charity Cahoots, said she met a woman left with post traumatic stress disorder after a childhood spent under Khmer Rouge rule, who had received counselling and got a job with help from Tabitha Australia.

“She wasn’t that much older than me,” she said.

“There was also a family we built a house for and the mother and children helped us.

“We couldn’t communicate with them but we could see how grateful they were.”

Ms Karlsson is organising two more trips to Cambodia this year.

Email jess.karlsson@cahoots.org.au

Sponsors