Stories of Change


Pring feeds the catfish in her new fish pond.


This year, CWS programs in Cambodia reached 21,373 individuals in 83 communities.

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

Promoting Better Lives: Pring takes us up on an opportunity to change her family’s life

Duk Pring, 55, lives in a very small and simple home in Rung Chrey village in western Cambodia with her husband, 80, and her three primary school-age grandchildren.  Pring and her husband do not work for pay – their daughter, who works in Thailand, supports the family. The family’s home lacks the basic amenities that many people are able to take for granted: running water, a toilet and electricity.

During regular staff outreach to some of Cambodia’s poorest families, CWS partner Rural Development Association met Pring in November 2016. Because of their clear vulnerability – especially with three young children and an elderly family member – they became CWS household partners. Like many family partners, Pring said she mostly wanted access to information and opportunity about how she could improve her family’s living standard.

When she heard some of the options about ways that she could partner with RDA to improve her family’s situation, Pring said she would likely try raising fish as a way of improving both her family’s income and nutrition.

To get her started, community leaders helped Pring dig her pond for fish raising. Through the CWS-supported program, Pring was also able to access information sessions about personal and household hygiene, water safety, additional ways to earn money (like growing mushrooms) and  how to join a savings group to start to protect herself and her family for emergencies.

Speaking with CWS staff recently, Pring offered her thanks to RDA and CWS say, “I’m very happy for the support to my family, and I thank CWS for helping me take good care of my family by giving me opportunity and support”.

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About the program:

More than 80 percent of Cambodians live in rural areas, and among these rural populations many families do not have access to basic necessities like improved sanitation or clean water. The CWS Promoting Better Lives program is designed to optimize our impact in rural communities by building local knowledge and capacity as well as providing material assistance to help communities:

– increase safe water access
– improve water use and hygiene practices
– intensify and diversify agriculture
– enhance income opportunities for the poor, poorest and other vulnerable groups

Promoting Better Lives builds on successful experience and extensive partnership with government-supported Commune Councils and Village Development Committees and Cambodian non-government organizations as well as technical support from government departments. Together with national and local government partners, Promoting Better Lives is now supporting especially poor and vulnerable families in 67 Battambang and Preah Vihear provinces to improve their water supply and hygiene-related behaviors, to intensify and diversify their agriculture and to enhance employment and earning opportunities.