In merely a week, the MaD team has managed to construct the beautiful, traditional Cambodian home you see pictured above! As part of MaD’s continual effort to improve the efficiency of our work in Prolit Village, this facility – fittingly dubbed the MaD House – will serve three important functions.
First, there will be enormous productivity benefits. The house will enable at least 5 members of our rural development team to sleep overnight in Prolit Village during the work week. Our team is super excited to get the MaD house up and running as soon as possible as sleeping there will save them from waking up at 5:30am each day in order to travel the 2+ hours it takes to get from their homes in Bakong District to MaD Base Camp, then on to Prolit Village!
A well-rested team is a happy, and more productive team. Moreover, the tangible productivity improvements that Prolit Village will benefit from as a result of this change are quite staggering:
-As a conservative estimate, each member of our team spends approximately 3 hours each day travelling to and from Prolit Village. That means that 3 hours of each of team members’ time is wasted in transport daily!
-If 5 members of our team choose to sleep in Prolit, that means 5 x 3 = 15 extra man hours each day – or 90 man hours per week, or 360 man hours per month – towards helping their fellow Cambodians achieve access to clean water and safe sanitation facilities.
As a side benefit, this decrease in transportation time will also reduce our monthly fuel expenses. This means more of our donors funds can go directly toward the installation of water pumps and sanitation units in Prolit Village!
Second, the MaD House will also enable our more adventurous volunteers to sleep overnight in Prolit and live in the community for several consecutive days. Together with our Khmer team, volunteers will have the unique opportunity to experience rural Cambodian village life from dawn until dusk. Cooking on an open flame, sleeping in a traditional Cambodian home, waking up to the sunrise over the rice fields – what could be better?
Third, the MaD House will be used as a storage facility for crucial equipment and materials used for our rural development project. This will save our team the hassle of transporting equipment to and from the village each day while simultaneously saving on fuel costs.
The land on which the MaD House is built was given to us by the village with the understanding that it will be donated back to the community for them to use as they see fit once MaD is no longer active in Prolit. Building a house is a laborious and costly task for the people of Prolit. It often takes families years to purchase the amount of wood necessary, buying a few planks each month with whatever leftover money they may have after buying food. Thus, while the MaD house will have an immediate and sustainable impact in that more water pumps and sanitation facilities will be installed more quickly, it will also add to the community’s basic infrastructure. Meanwhile, a permanent presence in Prolit Village will help to further integrate ourselves into the local community and bolster the already-rock-solid relationship between MaD and the people of Prolit.
A big thanks goes out to the workmanship of our Khmer team and our volunteers’ tireless effort sawing and nailing in the hot sun to get the house completed!
-Max Laskin and Alex Fidler-Wener