Two USG Boral employees, Karl Donaghy and Shikha Shivangni joined 10 Boral employees on a new challenge to build a house in Indonesia as part of the Rock the House program with Habitat for Humanity. The group spent a week in October building a 6x4-metre house for a seven-member family in the earthquake-prone village of Selopamioro, outside Yogyakarta.

Working as part of Habitat’s five-year project in the Selopamioro community, the volunteers were supported by local tradespeople and the family who will be living in the house upon completion.

West Australian based USG Boral account manager Karl Donaghy found the trip to be an incredible experience.

”I went to Indonesia wanting to help others, and came away having helped myself more than anything,” commented Donaghy. “The team was working in a remote area with primitive tools and our hands. In that environment there’s no place for ego or time for disagreements. We were out of our comfort zones, but worked really well together to build as much of the house as we could in the short time we had.”

Shikha Shivangni, who is based in the finance department at USG Boral’s Sydney office, volunteers her time locally; however, the experience in Indonesia was her biggest yet.

“There’s no ‘best part’ to the Rock the House trip. It’s everything. Complete strangers working together, learning new tasks and really testing their limits.”

Collectively, the group of 12 raised more than $50,000, which goes to the Selopamioro community for the construction work to be completed. In a tweet by Brian Tasker, national general manager Boral Property Group – Boral Limited, he commented, “By partnering with Habitat, Boral Australia is truly Building Something Great – stronger and more resilient communities where less fortunate people have a better chance to grow.”

This is Boral’s third year with the program, and the opportunity to volunteer is open to everyone in Boral and USG Boral.

“If you have the opportunity to do it, you should,” said Shivangni. “I’m really grateful to have had the experience. We all used our skills on the build, have met interstate colleagues and built new friendships. It was an amazing time, and I’m so glad I did it.”