I found HFH while scouring the Internet for organizations where I could gain experience contributing my skills for societal good. As a wide-eyed idealist of a student, I was looking for ways to give back to the underprivileged with my training in architecture school.
By divine appointment, I met the HFH Malaysia coordinator, Ms. Joanne Sim through her sister Karen whom I had just got to know through a recent church retreat.
On our first meeting, Joanne briefed me about some of their projects they were heading going into the last quarter of 2013. I was asked to help draw up a simple plan for a house renovation for a certain Mr. Khamis in Tg. Sepat, Sepang. I eventually joined the physical build where I joined Cargill volunteers who willingly took a day off their weekend to be the hands and feet of HFH.
After 7 hours of sweat, toil, camaraderie and lots of snacking, the Cargill team dismantled the termite-infested old building and completed half of the 240 sqft building, up till the doors and windows. We had a local builders called Saparrudin and Suparman to supervise our build.
All in all, it was an exhausting but an immensely interesting experience. As an architecture student, I had become slowly disillusioned with the lack of impact that architects had on social issues, eradication of poverty, etc. HFH has opened my eyes to see that as long as there are willing workers, houses can be built, families can be impacted, and the lives - of builder and homeowner alike, can be changed.