an entire city
Imagine losing everything—your home, your job, and your livelihood. You are forcibly relocated to an empty field outside the city, left to fend for yourself with no shelter or electricity. There are no hospitals or schools, no trash collection or even drainage pipes. During the rainy season, your garbage and sewage literally float back to you in the waist-high water. The dreams of jobs and small businesses float away, as the cost of commuting 15 miles to a job in the city amounts to more than a day’s wages. Powerful people with connections have seized your home, and no one seems interested in helping you.
Events like this are not uncommon; and this is the world of the inhabitants of Andong Village in Cambodia. Thousands of people were relocated in 2006 from their home territory beside the river in Phnom Penh to make room for land developers. People who live in the slums usually don’t own their property, or can’t prove ownership. All ownership records were lost or destroyed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge, which lasted from 1975 to 1979. Although people are supposed to have property rights in Cambodia, once they live in a place for an extended period of time, getting these rights legally registered is no small task.
Where to begin? What basic human needs, taken for granted in so many countries, would improve the lives of these people? It goes beyond a few problems that need to be addressed. Instead, in places like Andong, the list is very long and almost every problem is connected. For instance, we see this in the lack of clean water. It is a cause of concern; further, the well-water in Andong Village is tainted with metals. This is dangerous water, full of toxins and needing to be boiled to be safe for consumption. Families and individuals must travel far to find clean water; however, fuel is expensive, and families without options have to take their chances. By attempting to simply distribute clean water without addressing the many surrounding issues, toxic water is being distributed. This is not the fault of the NGOs, who originally set up a system for clean water; rather it is the inherent challenge of working in locations such as Andong.
The heavy rainfall in Andong Village requires a better drainage system. Without it, flooding cannot be prevented, and trash and sewage overwhelm the poorly fashioned huts. Whatever materials or garbage that floats by or can be salvaged is used to make these homes, but the huts can withstand the heavy rains for only a short time. Health problems are rampant due to the unsanitary conditions; and hospitals are not an option for these poor villagers.
Children are forced to walk through their flooded homes, and mothers are unable to prepare healthy food for their families in these conditions. A night’s rest turns into a nightmare as water-filled homes make sleeping almost impossible. Dry land is needed for the people of Andong Village. It is a basic human necessity that needs to be addressed before it is too late. All of this is in view as the new city is planned.
Humanity was created to build; able-bodied and with a powerful will. There is something within us that recognizes our commission and our given right to walk forward into tragedy and loss—to sculpt beauty and balance; to be builders of love and mercy; to build cities; to express life to the full and construct foundations established on care and learning.
For more than a decade, People for Care and Learning (PCL) has been moving into neighborhoods throughout Southeast Asia—inspiring hope, living justice and giving the poor a working chance. Now we are committed to take on a new endeavor—to build a new city in Khan Dang Kao, Cambodia, that is home for hundreds of families living amid extreme poverty. A city that is not just explained by manmade structures, but defined by our responsibility to make a the world a better place.
The completion of Build a City will require a few key objectives to achieve: the financial support of thousands of individuals as well as backing from key organizations and corporate sponsorships; the commitment of the Cambodian government to start and complete the project, as well as a legal way to attain property ownership for the residents to own their homes; and capable oversight of the people involved, including workers and the quality of construction.
The cost of the entire project is $2,250,000. One-hundred percent of the money raised goes toward the actual cost of building the city. All operational, marketing and research costs have been raised separately.
It is true that we are building a city from scratch. One of the underlying problems relates to already-existing structures in some portions of the new city. Some of these structures are in extremely poor condition and are classified as temporary. They are made of readily-available material such as plastic, tin, wood and burlap. These structures will be demolished and cleared away to permit a proper cement foundation and home built in its place. The family will get a new, safe home to live in. There are some homes that are permanent, meaning they are built out of suitable building materials. The homes that are well-built and safe to inhabit will stay. Some homes will need to be repaired or replaced to meet the safety standards of the new city.
Homes are built one or more blocks at a time. Some families will move from their temporary home into a new home without any inconvenience. However, some will have to move out of their temporary homes while their houses are being built. In these instances, they may move in with relatives or—for those who do not have that option—we will provide a temporary home of similar quality to the one that is being built. Demolition and construction of a replacement home will take about three weeks.
Introducing the Build a City project.
A visual introduction to the Build a City project.
Our orphanages take a special approach to make sure the children are equipped and ready for independent life. It is the same commitment we have for our children that we have for the new city.
We think a lot about sustainable growth. The integrated farm provides opportunity and sustainability for the new city.
The Tonle Sap lake has provided a opportunity to hone our ability to distribute water and resources in extreme environments.
Our coffee shop provides a innovative way of community meeting opportunity, entrepreneurship, and development.
Education is a key ingredient to the success of any society. We have many different educational endeavors to develop a new generation of leaders.
Start a People for Care & Learning chapter on your campus, in your church, or in your city. People are looking around for a leader to help them take steps in the fight against extreme poverty. Perhaps that leader is you. Set goals and go after them. Bring People for Care & Learning to your community and to others around the world.
We are currently developing campaign resources for download that will be available. In the meantime, use the button below to contact us and we’ll send whatever resources you need.Contact Us for More Information
Host an official Build a City House Party, or show the Build A City film to your organization, school, faith community, and friends. Click "Videos & Studies" at the top of this page to view the full selection of videos available, or click the button below to download the main film.Download the Main filmHost a House Party
Take that skill set you’ve been given and rock it out to end poverty. Do you paint? Write? Draw? sculpt? Got a band? Perform a benefit concert. Know a band? Tell them about PCL and see if they want to help. Write a song, a poem, or a book and use your gift to share hope. Got a blog? Write about PCL.
People for Care and Learning
4235 TL Rogers St NE
Cleveland, TN 37312-4991
For questions regarding getting involved with Build A City please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
In October 2011, People for Care & Learning commissioned Between Pixels and Whiteboard to collaborate on the Build A City campaign. While in Cambodia, our efforts included documentary film, motion graphics and developing an interactive web strategy.
Between Pixels (www.betweenpixels.tv) produces videos that grab attention, capture imagination, solve problems, and create results.
Whiteboard (www.whiteboard.is) is a creative agency that builds meaningful brands.
Community is something we long for, surrounded by friends, laughter, and cold drinks. Memories and tired jokes passing the time, moments remembered through the years. Great ideas, cherished rituals, good food and sports, we are a society that craves community, hungers for connection. We believe that the same human-spirit can be achieved in Andong Village and that’s we’re throwing a very big party!
1. INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!
2. SERVE SOME FOOD
3. SHOW THE BUILD A CITY FILM
4. GET YOUR FRIENDS TO PITCH IN
5. CELEBRATE, YOU JUST BUILT A HOME
6. UPLOAD PICS OF YOUR PARTY