All the Wednesdays after-school planning and organising fund-raising events such as bake-sales and doughnut deliveries all seemed worthwhile for the Habitat for Humanity Club students on the last day of term one. 23 students and three teachers made the hour and a half journey to the rural setting of U Thong in Suphan Buri province, their mission for the day - to paint the exterior and interior of the recently constructed house for Mr Sanun Phuangkammi and his family.
Mr Sanun has been waiting years for a new house, to replace the old wooden one which had fallen into disrepair a long time ago. Of retirement age and surviving on a little over 7,000 Baht a month, Mr Sanun never thought his dream of a secure and safe house would come true. When Mr Sanun heard the news from the community leaders that Habitat for Humanity Thailand would assist in a building house for his family, he was overjoyed. Now his home is almost complete, and hopefully, during early 2021 he will be ready to move in!
Very few of our students have had any prior experience of house painting but, after a short introduction from the Habitat staff, everyone seemed to pick up the basics and got down to work quickly. Our students were evenly divided with some coating emulsion paint to the outside of the house, while others focused their energies inside.
Most students seemed adept at using the rollers, many of these extended on poles to reach higher areas of the walls. However, one or two tried the more delicate application of gloss paint to the doors and window frames using a simple brush. Suffice to say; all students did a magnificent job of applying the first coat of paint to Mr Sanun’s house by lunchtime.
However, another coat was needed to complete the day’s task. Unpainted patches and thin coatings had to be covered, and spillages had to be washed up. By late afternoon, it was time to clean up the tools and to pack away the equipment. The transformation in terms of the aesthetics of the house was impressive.
Mr Sanun was all smiles and thanked our group for their superb efforts. The group ended the day with a quick group photo before heading back to school, tired but with the feeling of satisfaction that we had helped a disadvantaged family in desperate need of a new home!