Are you looking to do something heart-warming on your trip overseas this year? Have you considered combining volunteer work with your holiday? Then, it’s time for you to take part in a build trip!

There are two exciting opportunities this year for those who would like to have such an experience. Habitat for Humanity will be organising the ‘Borneo Blitz Build’ in September with the aim of building 14 houses in Kuching, Malaysia and the ‘ Everest Build’ in November to build more than 100 houses in Nepal.

Habitat for Humanity has been organising build trips which involves volunteers in constructing houses for families in various countries. The volunteers in these trips not only build a safe and secure home for the families, they also form friendships and learn about a new culture.

Melodie laying bricks

How should you prepare for on this trip? Develop some muscle and a good deal of grit for physical work which can least till up to three days. Volunteers will also work in conditions of stark poverty, places with other types of sanitation facilities, and different languages and food.

Cementing bricks

Melodie Lee, Resource Development Manager of Habitat for Humanity Singapore says that volunteers who have been on such trips say that the tasks and conditions they faced were far less arduous than expected. The volunteers were also joyful about meeting fellow volunteers and bringing smiles to the faces of the families.

BB 2013 Sept Speakeasy and Gaelic Lions  (5)

So there really shouldn’t be anything stopping you if you feel ready for such an experience! To learn more about the build trips or join one, please visit http://www.habitat.org.sg/global.html

Read further if you would like to know more about the Speakeasy team involved in build projects in Batam.

The Speakeasy crew is a team of expat mothers who frequently head down to Batam to build houses under Habitat for Humanity. The team is led by Kristen English and Debbie Talbot. While the  core Speakeasy team is made up of 5 to 6 people, close to 30 people have been involved in the build projects since 2009.

Speakeasy crew taking a water break (2)

Named after a very cool but now-defunct bar, the team has completed 4 build projects, 2 playground builds, and planted more than 100 mango trees.

Speakeasy crew digging a hole

The main motivation for Speakeasy is seeing the families in Batam living dignified lives in decent housing while also being homeowners.

Speakeasy crew laying tiles

The Speakeasy crew has also done HomeWorks projects in Singapore under the Habitat for Humanity. This is a weekly home clean-up session done for the elderly poor and handicapped living in one-room rental flats in Singapore.