Stories of Change

Oeun in her garden.

CWS programs in Cambodia reached more than 21,000 people in 83 communities last year.

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

Ending hunger doing what she does best

Phan Oeun has been a CWS partner for more than a decade from her home in northern Cambodia. Things were very different for Oeun and her family when they first got involved in a CWS development activities in 2007. Oeun and her husband, You Ron, had two middle school-age children. The family was in a tough financial situation.

Their hunger and poverty led Oeun to join other women in learning how to improve her family’s wellbeing. She did this by improving her skills in realm she already knew well: home gardening.

Now 46, Oeun says that she was very active in putting into practice the skills and knowledge she developed through CWS activities. She has been very successful in her vegetable business since then, to say the least. Additionally, Ron and their children, who are now 20 and 23, are farmers, and Ron is a Village Livestock Agent.

During a recent visit, Oeun told our team, “I am so successful in my business now –  I started with a small vegetable garden surrounding my home and with the hope to have enough for my family to eat.” Now, Oeun continues, “With support from my husband and my two children I expanded to a 1,000 square meter [about a quarter acre] garden and grow a variety of vegetable all year round. I have vegetables to sell every day and I make about 350,000 Khmer riel [$87] each week!”

In sharing her success, Oeun also reminded some Cambodia team members of this fact, “Before becoming a CWS partner family, we relied on rice farming for our living and often we did not have enough to eat [and certainly no surplus to sell for other food]. My family now has enough food year-round, and I even saved money to renovated and expand my house and to buy four hectares [10 acres] of land to grow rice and cassava, which I can sell for 10 million Riel [$2,500] per year!” In ending her story, Oeun added, “I could not be successful like I am today without support from my husband and children … and CWS. I am very grateful and thank CWS so much for their start-up and ongoing
technical support and guidance.”