May 18 - 24, 2014: Issue 163

  "Show You Care" Concert at Mater Maria College              Warriewood - For Cambodia House Building Trip 2014‏           

by Joanne Seve

On Friday 16th of May 20914 a concert was held at Mater Maria College at Warriewood to raise funds in support of the Cambodia House Building Trip for 2014. Led by Simon Hyland, MC, the range of wonderful voices and entertainers gave a concert no one shall forget.

In November 2014, students and staff from Mater Maria Catholic College, along with members of the SOUL ministry team and other adults from the Parish of Pittwater, will be embarking on a house building trip to Cambodia with the Catholic Parish of Pittwater. This will be the fourth time that the Parish and College have sent a house building team.

The group will be building homes for some of the poorest Cambodian families. These families have typically been in the Tabitha savings program for four to five years in order to reach their dream of 'graduating from poverty'. As part of this savings program, each family has saved and will contribute US$30.00 towards the cost of the new house and land package.

The house building team is fundraising to pay for the remaining $1500.00 per house. When the group arrives they will work side by side with the Cambodians, under their leadership and guidance, giving them the opportunity to teach the house building team valuable life skills (building).

The more money that is raised, the more houses and safe wells the house building team will build and therefore the more families who can be helped. Amazingly, within one year of a family moving into a new home with access to a well, they can expect their income to at least double!

Each volunteer in the house building team will fund all their own expenses and contribute to the cost of the materials. Every dollar donated will help extend the impact from their visit. With every dollar going directly to the project, it is an amazing way for everyone to help.

The heartfelt care and joy with which Simon leads this project is very moving and his enthusiasm is contagious, especially among the youth who will be accompanying him on this (now Simon’s 4th) trip to build houses in Cambodia.

A short video from last year’s trip was shown during the Concert and the happiness coming from it was tangible. One of the young people in the video said, “it’s life-changing” and Simon added afterwards that  “it’s life-changing not only for those in Cambodia who will live in the houses but for the builders!!!” 

Simon announced very proudly at the Concert his eldest son, Samson (in Year 5) who sang at the Concert, will be accompanying him on this trip. 

A parent of one of the Year 12 students going on the trip said that it is a great form of “Schoolies” because the young people get to help others who are most in need and have a lot of fun doing it!

The house building team is calling on our community for their support - donors can contribute as little as a ‘single plank’ at A$25.00 each. Ten of these are needed to build each wall of each house.

For further information, please visit and go to the ‘donate now’ tab. Please ensure that you select the house building group ‘Pittwater Parish & Mater Maria - Nov 2014’.

Alternatively please contact the Youth Minister at the Catholic Parish of Pittwater, Simon Hyland, on 9997 7311 or   or the Business Manager at Mater Maria Catholic College, Mark Suters, on 02 9997 7044 

Cambodia House Building Trip 2014

One house costs $1500. This is all it takes to change the lives of a whole family in need. Can you sponsor a house?

Can you donate something to this fantastic building trip?

All donations over $2 are 100% tax deductable and every single cent of your donation goes directly to the families we build for. There are no hidden administration fees.

How to donate?

Click here to donate to the Pittwater / Mater Maria team:

ALL money for our building trip is to be donated through the Tabitha foundation website. Please visit this website to find out more about the amazing work the tabitha charity does. 

We are thrilled to be undertaking this mission project. Your support for our team is greatly appreciated.

House Building Team - 2012

An insight on one of these House building Trips:

It was an unforgettable experience for the thirty-one parishioners, students and past students from the Catholic Parish of Pittwater and Mater Maria Catholic College, Warriewood who recently travelled to Cambodia.

The combined parish and school house-building trip to Cambodia proved to be a privileged opportunity to serve the very poor in a developing country and was the direct result of the generosity of the $48,000 raised by the parish and school communities prior to travelling.

In the remote village of Kirirom the group spent two days building the thirty houses. The houses constructed were simple. The raised footings (to accommodate the wet season) and frame including the roof had been completed prior to arrival by local tradespersons, utilising local resources and techniques.

Mater Maria Business Manager, Mark Suters reflected on his second house-building trip to Cambodia helping to make a difference for the very poorest of families.

“The house-building took place in a rural region of Cambodia, which still remains home to some of the poorest of the poor - those who face multiple challenges in every sphere of their lives. They have no access to electricity or water. “

“Our job was to hammer the floorboards into place and sheet the exterior in corrugated sheets. It was hot sweaty work though tremendously rewarding, even more so because family members were eagerly looking on awaiting the completion. “

The families the group built for had participated in a unique family savings program arranged by the Tabitha Foundation, a program that invites the poor to overcome despair and contribute to their own future. 

 "Show You Care" For Cambodia House Building Trip 2014‏ 

Simon Hyland MC

Miles Llewellyn (on Marimba) & Beatrice Kuyumgian-Rankin (on piano) playing A Minor violin concerto by J.S. Bach

Miles Llewellyn (on Marimba)

Samson Hyland (singing Consider Yourself from Oliver)

Samantha Shaw (singing As Long As He Needs Me from Oliver)

Danielle Barnes (singing People from Funny Girl)

Brian Langsworth (singing The Prayer)

KJ All Stars Band and l to R: Simon Hyland, Samantha Shaw, Dean Macrae, Danielle Barnes & Brian Langsworth (singing Under My Skin)

Report and Pictures by Joanne Seve, 2014.