Stories of Change

Hon makes chicken feed for her flock.

“We are no longer worried about not having enough food to eat.”

Bouy Hon and her husband, Loem Choeum, live in western Cambodia. They do not own their land, so Choeum works as a wage laborer on other people’s farms. He can earn about $10 when it is time to plant or harvest rice. 

Unfortunately for the couple, age is not on their side. Hon and Choeum have two grown daughters with families of their own. Their daughters cannot help their aging parents financially, so Choeum continues to be a day laborer despite being nearly 70. 

Across several countries in Asia, CWS has a signature way of working families like Hon and Choeum’s: chickens! Because of her family’s particularly vulnerable situation, we invited Hon to join our program through our partner Rural Development Association. First, Hon learned about raising chickens, including how to prepare a cage, make healthy chicken feed and vaccinate her chickens to keep them healthy. When she was ready to raise her own brood, we gave Hon five hens and 20 chicks so that she could expand the small duck-raising business that she was already running in her backyard. She put what she learned to good use, and had quickly doubled her earnings and brought the family income up to about $1 per day. This added a bit of security to the seasonal wage that Choeum earns and allowed them to improve their diets a bit. 

When our team checked in with Hon last month, she thanked us for the support that made it possible for her to work at home to earn money to complement her husband’s income. Hon told us that even though they have been very poor all their lives, our recent support is the first time in their lives that they have been helped by anyone. She added, “I am so happy with this support. Finally, our lives are improving, and we are no longer worried about not having enough food to eat. Thank you.”