In 2017, our team was honoured to join Virani Real Estate Partners in Cambodia. We found ourselves in the Steung Meanchey slum, tasked with documenting the completion of the Cambodian Children Fund and World Housing’s community building project in Cambodia. Found in the capital Phnom Penh, this slum, like many others, is known for its poor living conditions. Here people have no choice but to live off of a massive garbage landfill.
World Housing is an altruistic organization that provides homes to families living in slums in developing nations. They are fostering communities where families can thrive with safety, security, and access to the resources that change lives. Their team recognizes the impact a safe and stable home has not only on an individual, but also a family, a society, and our future generations. Karim Virani and his team at Virani Real Estate Advisors know how deep the value of a home truly is. They donated to World Housing for every home sold here in Vancouver, with the goal to build a neighbourhood in the Steung Meanchey slum in 2017.
Named “The Divine Community”, this final project in Cambodia marked two years of passionate work from full-time staff, volunteers and locals employed as builders. The result was 461 homes to house more than 2300 people in the Steung Meanchey slum.
Our sales director Geordie Flanagan was introduced to the opportunity after working with Virani and befriending World Housing managing director Scott Wilkins. He knew this was an opportunity for AntiSocial to be involved with something significant.
Last March, Geordie Flanagan, AntiSocial cofounder Alex Chan, and creative director Jonathan Spooner flew to Cambodia. Their mission: to document and celebrate the last week of World Housing’s incredible 2-year project. On top of visiting The Divine Community, they fostered relationships with the locals and people involved in the project. They visited schools and programs run by World Housing and the Cambodian Children’s Fund; spending their time hanging out with the kids and helping to serve them dinner.
“This was my first shoot with intense conditions, both physically and emotionally. The weather was extremely hot and humid, plus it was a new part of the world for me. It started with everything being new and exciting, but I had to focus on the mission of filming and photographing. Seeing people living in these conditions and their efforts made to improve it, there’s the instinct to put down the camera and try to help. However, I knew capturing these moments for World Housing was the best way I could contribute.”
“A favourite moment was after seeing a photo of a child found homeless in the landfill years before. I had the chance to photograph her now, living with her adopted family in their newly-built home. For these kids, it was also the first time they had seen a drone in action, which blew their minds.” – Jonathan Spooner, Creative Director
“After living in and travelling around Asia, this was my first time getting in touch with a tough way of life that so many people there have to live. Then seeing their strength and positivity in the face of this really gave us a new perspective on it all. A favourite moment of mine was letting our kids play with the gadgets and showing them the photos and videos. They especially loved the app filters that change your face into animals.” – Alex Chan, Co-Founder
“This was a life-changing trip and bonding experience for our team. It opened our eyes to a part of the world and way of life so different from here in Vancouver. The rough living conditions, contrasted with the openness and energy of the people truly inspired us. We were honoured to be included, happy to help and we left with a new appreciation for life.”
“We want to give a big thanks to Scott Wilkins, Sid Landolt and Peter Dupuis from World Housing, as well as Karim Virani.” – Geordie Flanagan, Sales Director
If you’d like to learn more or contribute, please visit WorldHousing.org