Participate in a house build

Participating in a house-building project can be a life-changing experience.  Details are included in the house-building tab of this website, and also on the attached information sheet.

Quick facts for arranging house building trips

Does Tabitha Foundation UK arrange House Building trips?

All house building groups actually make all arrangements directly with Janne Ritskes, Director of Tabitha Cambodia.  For liability reasons, Tabitha Foundation UK does not arrange or sponsor house building trips.  Tabitha UK can provide general advice, and process donations for your team.

What is a typical Tabitha Cambodia house building trip schedule?

Tabitha Cambodia has developed a very successful “formula” for house building trips.  A typical trip is:

Day 1: Half-day at Tabitha Cambodia, Phnom Penh, for  “orientation” briefing by Janne Ritskes.  Half-day visit to Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields

Day 2: Travel day (if building away from Phnom Penh)

Days 3 & 4: House building

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

House building around Phnom Penh would typically require 3 days.  Further travel in Cambodia and Asia is at the discretion of your team.

Does the team need experience building?

Tabitha building teams do not actually “build” houses; they “complete” the houses by nailing on the walls and floors.  Prior to the team’s arrival, a Cambodian builder under contract to Tabitha (the “Contractor”) completes the foundation, frame and roof.  Your team needs people with a mix of abilities, some of whom are practical and can hit a nail.  The “Contractor” (and the families) will guide and correct you!

What arrangements will Tabitha Cambodia make for you?

Tabitha Cambodia can arrange:

  • Hotels (usually well-known 3 star hotels)
  • Buses to site
  • Water at the site

Further travel arrangements in Cambodia or Asia are up to each team to coordinate independent of Tabitha

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

The number of houses to be built depends on such factors as:

  • Size of the team
  • The amount of fundraising the team can do
  • The length of the trip
  • The materials used for the walls.  In many provinces, thin corrugated iron sheets are used .  These are easier and quicker to nail on than wooden planking.

Minimum team size is 6 people.

As travel to Cambodia is relatively expensive and as teams have been anticipating the trip for months, it is important to ensure that the team members feel as though they have worked hard each day.  It is disappointing to the team to finish building too early in the day.  Moral:  make sure that you are building enough houses to keep the team busy.

Rough guide:
•    Team of 10:  10-15 houses
•    Team of 15:  20-30 houses
•    Team of 20:  25-35 houses

How much do the houses cost?
•    Each house costs USD $1500, which includes a donation for the local community to participate in the Family Savings Programme as well as the cost of a well for that community.
•    This money MUST be received by Tabitha Foundation UK 8 weeks before the trip.
•    It is immediately sent to Tabitha Cambodia for the purchase of the materials and to pay for the construction of foundations, frames and roofs.  Once sent to Cambodia, this money is non-refundable.

What are the additional costs?
Budget for:
•    Airfare to and from Cambodia
•    Accommodation and meals in Cambodia
•    Transportation to and from the worksite

Medical recommendations
Generic medical recommendations (for malaria prevention and vaccinations) for travel to Cambodia are available from Tabitha Foundation Australia.  All members of all teams should see a doctor before travel.

All teams should have a first aid kit, and if possible, a person trained in first aid, a nurse, or a doctor.  International SOS runs an international standard medical clinic in Phnom Penh.

Travel Insurance
All team members must have travel medical insurance.

Next Steps
1. Contact Janne Ritskes (email address upon request)
Contact Janne (Founder and Director) at Tabitha Cambodia and arrange a building date and program.  Janne will need to know :

  • Date of arrival
  • Team size and composition (adults/children/males/females)
  • Number of houses to be built

Tabitha Cambodia has over 75 international building trips per year so:

  • Plan 6-12 months ahead
  • Try to be flexible with dates if your preferred date is already taken

2. Tabitha Foundation UK
Inform us of:

  • Details of your trip and register all participants
  • When you expect to send the money to Tabitha Cambodia (8 week lead time is required).

3. Fundraising
Start your fundraising early.  Through MyDonate you can set up your own or your team’s donation page.  Donations can also be made by cheque and mailed to Tabitha UK at:

Tabitha Foundation UK

J Spaeth, 2 Wyldewoods, Hancocks Mount, Ascot, Berks.  SL5 9RB

For more information, contact Tabitha Foundation UK.


Participation in a house-building activity includes activities that can be hazardous, including, but not limited to, construction activities and local transportation within Cambodia to and from the villages where the construction will take place. In deciding to undertake a house building trip, each individual should ensure that they fully understand the risks that they are exposing themselves to and take out (a) appropriate insurance before travelling and (b) take adequate precautions at all times. In addition, further details of the advice of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK government for travellers to Cambodia more generally can be found at Tabitha Foundation UK (‘Tabitha UK’) is a registered UK charity. It was established in 2003 to support the aims of Tabitha Cambodia and it associated programmes. In respect of any house-building activities, all ancillary activities and travel arrangements, the involvement of Tabitha UK is solely to provide an introduction of individuals and teams to Tabitha Cambodia (a Cambodian based organisation) and to arrange for donations made in the UK to be forwarded to Tabitha Cambodia. All house building trips (and all related arrangements) are made between Tabitha Cambodia and the individuals/teams. Tabitha UK and its representatives, to the fullest extent permitted by law, take no responsibility for any element of any house-building trip or any related arrangements.