Hi I’m Simon and I am currently part of the Pharonyx team. I spent my previous career working in quality management in manufacturing as well as in infrastructure construction. In 2016, I decided I wanted to pursue my passion of helping others through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization I have been volunteering for the last 17 years. As a result, I took the decision to retire from my day job and volunteer 4-5 days a week as a crew leader.

My favorite part of volunteering with Habitat is the Global Village Program. This program gives you the ability to travel, explore new places and work with the locals to build homes. So far, I have completed 8 builds that span 8 countries and 4 continents.

I completed my 8th trip this past spring when I traveled to Fiji with other volunteers from Canada and the United States to build a home for a local family with the local community. Mere, her son and her granddaughter were living in a home with a half blown off roof and a weak structure due to a vicious cyclone that passed over the country in the previous year. The structure caused frequent leaking and was in need of serious repair. To make matters worse, Mere’s husband passed away earlier in the year, and she was finding it difficult to come up with money to fix her family’s home.

The group came together to rebuild her entire house from the ground up. I remember every morning the smile that we put on Mere’s face when we would arrive to work on her home. As a way to give back, she would cook for us delicious traditional meals prepared over an open fire.

Once the home was complete, the entire community came together for the dedication ceremony to sing traditional songs, dance and celebrate Mere’s new home. Mere and her family now have a decent shelter that is safe and secure from future natural disasters.

The Global Village trips provides an opportunity such as the Fiji trip to give back to people in a meaningful way. It provides ways to build relationships with like-minded people and have a lasting impact on a family’s life which in turns impacts your own life. This is the kind of trip that you would never experience within the confines of a resort.

At Pharonyx, we share my passion for giving back to the local community in a meaningful way, by building this into our core values. As a result, we will hold an annual day of giving back in each community where we have team members for causes that are close to our hearts.

If you are interested in working with families to strengthen their community and enrich both their lives and your own, click here to learn more about Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village Program.