EPIC started as a conversation over the dinner table in 2010, where four friends were discussing the possibility of solving local issues through community work. When the conversation ended, we realized they had done a whole lot of talking, but no work.
And so, we began to search through friends and families for small projects that could bring likeminded people together with the intention to bring about positive impact and to drive change in their community. A man from a nearby village in Batang Kali told us of a potential house-painting project and took us to recce the site.
When we arrived, a little boy in the group asked, “Where is the toilet?” It turns out that the village toilets weren’t completed, and thus the settlement didn’t have any. And that “toilet-building and painting project” (that really was the title of the project) was the first ever EPIC event.
We thought that we’d only be able to gather a tiny group of people for the project, but after blasting our call for volunteers through social media we were hit with 64 committed individuals who were ready for action. These guys ranged from ages 13-60 and they hailed from different countries around the world. When these strangers met for the first time at the project, we immediately knew that we had something special. We had never experienced such authenticity before. Each person that was present had one goal in mind: they were there to do whatever they could to help another person. This inspired us and showed us that by doing little with many, we could produce impact of epic proportions.
We were approached with another opportunity not long after that project. As we met residents of a village nearby, we stumbled across this:
This was home to a man called Pak Cihong, who had been living there for two years. Why was he living there? Why didn’t anyone build a home for him? Why isn’t he getting any help? These were just a few questions that popped into our minds. We quickly realised that the home was a symptom of a much deeper problem, one that could not be answered without first building a relationship with the person in question.
Again, we called for volunteers and we were answered in just a mere 30 minutes. This proved to us that there are people looking for opportunities to contribute to society, to make an impact, to provide solutions. We wanted to ensure that anyone and everyone could contribute, so we looked for a solution that would allow us to build a home in less than a week, eventually bringing it down to three days. This also means the family won’t be displaced for a long period of time, while waiting for a home to be built. It sounded like a crazy dream, but we did it. And thus began our journey that is EPIC Homes!