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A New Home, A New Hope

by Eric Rothman
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A Cambodian Family Moves Into Donated Home

When our founders crafted our company mission they decided it was critical that, as our company grows, a portion of our proceeds would be used to buy homes for people who are in the greatest need. At REX, though our team has different backgrounds, we have in common a lifelong passion for philanthropy.

Every REX home sold helps build a home for people in need.
We are incredibly proud to announce our first donated home has helped a family rebuild after tragedy. We discovered the Kong Sarom family through the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) which has spent a lot of time with them and World Housing who builds homes for non-governmental organizations (NGO).

The Sarom family has a new home thanks to the 50 clients who chose to sell their homes with REX.

“A new home means a new start, the beginning of a life with safety, security and stability as a foundation. What grows from there is a restoration of dignity and hope for the future.” -World Housing

About the Family
The Sarom family has been through a recent tragedy and the story below might be disturbing. Kong was a fisherman and was away at sea while his wife and mother cared for his 5 children.

But in early in January (2016), a local man with an axe attacked the family. In the attack the family lost their grandmother, mother and the oldest child. The second-oldest child, Sareey (name changed to protect the child), 11, and her siblings were taken in by CCF.

Their father has now moved to Phnom Penh so he can raise his children in their new home. Sareey is a girl with a wonderful drive to learn, and her first request was to get back to her studies (Khmer, English and computers).

Scott Neeson, Chairman of the Cambodian Children’s Fund wrote,”I know our plan is far from perfect and this isn’t a happy ending. But we cannot undo what happened. We can only make the best of what remains… These are nice homes in very nice communities.

However the move into a landlocked location with people he doesn’t know, and raising four children… He will need all our support.”

A Message From The Family
“My name is Kong Sarom. I was born in Sihanoukville Province [southwest Cambodia]. I have four children now. They are 11, 6, 4 and 3 years old.

My wife passed away so now I want to do the best that I can to make my children warm. I felt very happy when my family and I moved into the World Housing community.

I feel confident that I can support my children now. I work part time as a handyman in the World Housing community so I still have time to look after my children. I am so grateful for all of this support. Now my children can go to school.

Even though I stopped studying when I was 11 years old, my children can study more. I hope that when my children grow up they can finish their studies and find a good job.”

Donating a Home in a Foreign Country
We worked with World Housing, experts in Southeast Asia, to be our local partner on the ground to help this family get back on their feet. REX sets aside a portion of all income from selling homes to fund homes for families in dire need. It has always been our mission to contribute one home for every 50 homes we sell.

The homes are approximately 12 feet x 12 feet, elevated on stilts 6.5 feet off the ground. This creates a lockable, private area on the inside of the home, and a space for cooking and socializing underneath the home.

The frame of the home is galvanized steel, with Colorbond steel panelling on the outside, wood floors and insulated interior walls. The louvered wooden doors and windows are locally made and sourced.

The steel structure is very robust, and with regular maintenance, will likely last 20+ years.

About World Housing & Cambodian Children’s Fund
In 2014, Cambodian Children’s Fund, a four-star rated charity on Charity Navigator, began a partnership as the local giving partner for World Housing, a social venture that partners with corporations and real estate builders to benefit third world families living in the worst conditions on earth. Together, World Housing and CCF have been able to provide homes to more than 300 deserving families.

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