Holman family makes a difference in Cambodia

During the recent school holiday’s I decided to take our family to Cambodia with Karl and Annie Maughan from Cummins to build a house for a family in need.

Karl, Annie, Jack, and Toby Maughan have been doing this for a few years now which all started with a request from Jack for his 21st.

We travelled with a group of enthusiastic people from Tumby Bay who also wanted to experience what the Maughan Family had been doing.

They were Alexis Southern, Marie Bell, Gavin, Annette and Braeden Hammond, Sheree Griffith, Boonga Murphy, Sharon Campbell, Amanda and Shae Partington and Simone Zrna.

On arrival we had a meeting with Sinn who is the coordinator of Volunteers Building Cambodia VBC he told us a bit about his life, what to expect and how things work in his country.

The first day was hot and muggy which is normal for Cambodia.

We met the young family that had be chosen by a committee to receive a new house.

We started by pulling down their old house which toke approximately 25 minutes and also started cutting and chiseling wood for the frame work of the house.

Our work days started by us being picked up at seven am from hotel and being transported to the work site and working to about 12 noon then back to hotel for a swim, lunch, rest or out sight.

Day two saw a blessing of the foundations then frame work put together on the ground and stood up and secured on the cement pillar foundations.

The floor was the next to go in and the scaffolding was put up right around the building ready for tomorrow.

Between the wooden frame work and the cement pillars there is a good luck tradition to put some money so a paper note worth five cents was placed there.

Day three saw a lot of hammering again with the walls going on and the roof had been put on in the previous afternoon by local people who were a lot more agile and lighter than us.

Day four started with a visit to the recently built Community Centre which housed a school and library.

We also visited some cows that had been bought threw Karl’s Cambodian Cow Club which is Helping Udders in Need.

We delivered some bags of rice to some families that had been donated by friends back home.

Then it was onto the house to put on the finishing touches, window’s and stairs.

Day five was the giving of presents and the blessing of the house by three monks which has to happen before the woman of the house is allowed to enter it for the first time.

This was a very emotional day for them after receiving a new house and for us to say goodbye.

We were then blessed by a monk which consisted of him soaking all of us in water.

This “house “ consists of two rooms built up on stilts with opening windows all made of wood to help with air flow with an iron roof and a staircase down to a cement landing.

All of the cooking is done down stairs under the house.

These houses are built by donations and volunteers from all over the world we had a volunteer from France and Holland join us for our build. Our house was number 132.

The next few days we worked with Karl and his cows.


Karl has started a cow club where families are given a cow to look after and the calves are bought back of them for looking after them which is a huge benefit to the family.

We visited all the cows and gave them two injections one for worms and one for vitamins and checked their ear tags.

We also had to add to Karl’s feed lot shed in readiness for the cow wash area which was donated by the Tumby Bay School.

We took photos of Charlie with Lassie the cow that the Lock Area School raised money for last year

Karl is also growing feed that can be cut and made into silage for the cows while they are in the feed lot.

He has an interesting mode of transport for the cows and cut grass.

It’s a reasonable size trailer donated by the Lions Club of Cummins, big enough to fit a cow in which is towed behind a 125cc motor bike which has a 30 litre bottle of water on it and a hose running down to the cylinder of the motor to help with the cooling due to the extra load.

No weight ratio problems in Cambodia.

This trailer was also our mode of transport to the feed lot shed.

Funny about that as we were laughing about that mode of transport when we first got to Cambodia. Little did we know.

We raised some money within the Lock District before we went to put towards education.

We would like to thank everyone who bought lucky or not so lucky squares on our money envelopes, those who gave us cash donations, those who donated items for the trading table, the Lock Post Office for their donation of hats which came in very handy, the Op Shop, the Lads and finally our sister in-law and Aunty Betty Giles, who travelled 2000 kms round trip to help out on the trading table .

There was approximately $1800 AUD, which equals to $1300 US.

They need teachers to teach in the Community Centre so we decided with that money to sponsor two teachers for twelve months in teachers training college.

It costs $540 US a year for one teacher to attend.

After the first twelve months, we as a family are going to sponsor these two teachers until their graduation.

These are beautiful people who just need a helping hand.

There is no Centrelink over there, some of these people are just struggling to survive, so if you can spare a few dollars to help please do as a little bit a money here goes a long way over there

Karl and Annie have not only built houses and set up ‘Karl’s Cambodian Cow Club’ but they also sponsor at least two people that I know of and employ people over there to help with the day to day running of the Cow Club.

The lives that these two have changed is truly remarkable, what from the staff at The Mother Home Inn where they stay, to the tuk tuk drivers out the front who transport you around, to the people who have received a new house, to the people who received a cow even to the shop owner on the corner they all love Karl and Annie .

A trip we will never forget.

Well done to the Maughan family, you are truly remarkable .