Stories of Change

Top: Nen Aem feeds her chickens. Bottom: Ry Sarath holds his daughter near his home.

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

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

Put yourself in their shoes

In 2014, as part of CWS work to help poor rural families in Cambodia improve their lives and livelihoods, Nen Aem received a rooster and four hens from CWS, which she kept healthy and productive. The next year she received vegetable seeds too, and with her hard work, ingenuity and perseverance – and thanks to information, education and continuing support  from our Cambodia team – Nen Aem now has over 100 chickens. She sell vegetables for extra income as well.

Like so many participants in CWS programs worldwide, Nen Aem turned the initial support from CWS into a whole host of improvements to her daily life.

In 2016, Nen Aem and her family built a pond. They paid for it with the income from selling vegetables and chickens. The pond cost $500, which represents an incredible number of sales. The catfish raised in the pond is for their family to eat.  They also pump water from the pond to help irrigate their crops and have a water pump and filter for good, clean water.

Imagine the positive impact on the family’s health and nutrition.

It doesn’t stop there.

Nen Aem and her family purchased a cow, and now they have a baby cow. This was possible from selling vegetables, bananas and agati (hummingbird) flowers. The agati flowers are edible and very good sellers, Nen Aem tells us. She can easily earn $5 a day from these flowers alone.

Nen Aem and her family now have their own land and house.

Imagine what a wonderful day it was when they were able to make those life-changing purchases.

The CWS Cambodia program reaches out to the most vulnerable members of society – the ones facing the deepest poverty – to help them better their lives and their communities. CWS began working in Kamprak Village in northern Cambodia, where Nen Aem lives, in 2011. Today, it is truly inspiring to see the improved livelihoods and to hear the impact that has made in villager’s lives.

Nen Aem isn’t the only success story in the community.

Her neighbor, Ry Sarath, has many hopes for his family and was grateful for the support of Church World Service too.  He shared that CWS assisted his family with vegetable seeds, drip irrigation, chickens, a water filter and latrine.

Imagine the difference this family’s daily life.

The vegetable sales have helped Sarath purchase four cows. The cost was $700, made possible in part by a loan from the savings group started in the CWS-led program. He is repaying $15 per month in principal and interest.  Sarath put a pond in, too. He has fish and irrigates the crops with water from the pond.  The fish raised feeds his family for two-three months.

Imagine the possibilities now.

What is next for Ry Sarath?  Owning his own land is his goal.  He is still using others’ land and dreams of the day that his family lives on and works their own land.

Imagine what it will be like to finally realize his dream.

Ry Sarath said that because of the CWS Cambodia team and so many others he and his family have built a better life – “thank you to CWS for the support and materials.”