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The Rangiora man, formerly of Invercargill, is building a house in an Omarama subdivision to raise funds for his Philippines-based charity Transform A Community.
Mr Steel said the build started about six months ago and was on track to be completed in another two months.
Money raised from the sale of the house would help fund education and food programmes.
"The first time I went over there I was absolutely in shock. I couldn’t believe the ... poverty.
"I met a couple of kids I’d see most days begging on the streets, aged between 7 and 9. They were brother and sister. I walked past them most days ... gave them a few coins as I started going out more. They’d recognise me. They’d chit-chat to me about their stuff."
He returned the next year and the children had gone.He asked a nearby store owner what had happened to them.
"They had been snatched off the street by people who traffic body parts. There were a whole lot of kids [picked off] the street.
"For me, losing those two kids ... it made it my business then. It meant I couldn’t just turn a blind eye."
For more information about the charity, visit https://transformacommunity.org.