Mrs Dumchuea and her husband waited one year for their Habitat house. And to them, every second was worth waiting for.
"When I received the letter (from Habitat Thailand) & I know volunteers would be coming to build the house, I’m very happy, I was crying. I never thought in my whole life I would be getting a new house,” said the 58-year-old.
Mrs Dumchuea had been staying in the same stilt house they built decades ago when they first got married. Six children and a few grandchildren later, the couple's house - made mostly out of wood - is in such a dilapidated state that parts of the house are leaking or cannot be used.
With the couple's age & pains from years of hard labour putting them out of work, their youngest son has taken over as head of the household, scrapping by for the family with 3,600 Baht (about SGD$130) a month.
“My health condition is getting worse & worse. My toilet has no roof. Most of my house is damaged. Everyday I keep thinking of how I’m going to repair the house,” said Mrs Dumchuea. Their old out-house toilet was also becoming too difficult to use as the couple got older.
On 25 July 2018, Mrs Dumchuea welcomed 14 volunteers from the "Foster The Build" team from Singapore. The team worked side-by-side with local staff and neighbours in the village to move bricks, hand-mix cement & build walls. Three full days later, the bare bone structure of the new Habitat house was finally completed.
Fast forward to November 2018, Mr & Mrs Dumchuea have finished making final touches to make their house feel like a home, including plastering the walls, tiling the floor and furnishing like curtains.
“I feel really happy to have this new home. Everything is very comfortable here. I don’t have to walk up and walk down the stair (as) often like before. There are walls around the house, which is really a good shelter ... to protect us from (the) heat, wind and storms. Thank you everyone who has involved in making my dreams come true. Without your help, this would not have been possible.”