David Moerman, 28, has a new perspective on the comforts of life in Surrey after visiting a rural rice-farming village in one of Cambodia’s western provinces.
“Our worries here are literally nothing, as I’m sure you know,” Moerman told Peace Arch News Thursday. “These people can’t even get basic water. It just gives our trivialness of our lives, what we worry about, it’s pretty minor in comparison.”
Revive – a window, gutter and siding washing business based out of Clayton Heights – was started by Moerman in May 2016. Some annual profits from the business, about five per cent, are dedicated to funding water projects in developing countries.
The well, which can provide fresh drinking water for approximately 36 people, was built in Pursat for a mother of five. It’s the second well Revive has helped fund in Cambodia.
“I’m not sure if she’s a farmer, but it’s definitely on farm land. She’s a small shop owner, she was selling food and some clothing, basically out of a house – that’s how she made her money.”
Unlike neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, the water coming out of the tap in larger Cambodia centres, such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, is generally safe to drink, although most travel information resources would advise against it.
However, those living outside of urban centres in Cambodia rely on bottled water and collecting rain water.
“They can drink this water,” Moerman said, adding that before receiving the well, the family was drinking water from a “swamp.”
Moerman, who got to test the well himself, says seeing the benefits first-hand validates the contribution.
“Being a millennial, I think I buy into the fact that business isn’t all about making money anymore. I didn’t want to go through my whole life, make money, then start writing cheques. I wanted to embed it in the business, we’re giving back from day one. We only sponsored like $3000, but as our company grows, it will get a lot bigger,” Moerman said.
In 2015, Moerman and a group of his friends started Party for a Purpose.
Party for a Purpose is an event-organizing company, which hosts special events with 100 per cent of the profits dedicated to building water wells in developing countries.
Since 2015, the organization has held three parties, with a fourth planned for this New Years Eve.
The organization has raised more than $19,000 and has built wells in Nepal and India.