When Juri and his sixteen year old bride married there was no more land available in the village for them to build a home. They were forced to build a one room bamboo and woven grass structure suspended on stilts over a gully behind her parents’ one room house. Now five years later they have three little boys aged four, three, and one and a few months ago the floor in their tiny home had rotted to the point it was no longer safe to remain. With no other options, they all moved into the house with her parents.
Juri’s Dad owned some land in the nearby forest and this is where we were able to build their new home. Once the materials for the home arrived on site two days before the build, Juri built a small lean-to and moved there to protect his property and the building materials that had arrived. In order to get his new house, Juri is required to work with the team and then to go on and assist with the build of at least two further homes. After participating in three builds, he will qualify as a master builder and could potentially earn some money for his family by working on other projects.
Once we began the build, his family joined him in the lean-to to watch the progress on their new house. His dad was also happy to help as much as possible. It was really neat to watch them proudly working alongside the team. It is rewarding to know that this little family will, at least be safe from the elements. I also know that this is still a long way from holistic community development and I long to see that happening in Orang Asli villages some day.