Stories of Change

Sok cares for her pigs.

Chan Sok’s Pig Business Brings her Hope and a New Life

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many Cambodians who relied on wage labor to earn an income were left with few options. Chan Sok and her family were one of the families who faced this challenge. Since the family did not own any farmland, Sok’s children worked as wage laborers in Thailand while her husband worked hard to sell his labor in the village, earning about $7 a day. The pandemic and border closures prevented Sok’s children from earning an income and made it increasingly difficult for her family to get by on her husband’s income.

Sok and her family’s hardships were significant, but the solution was a clear one. After speaking with Sok and learning about her economic challenges, CWS and local partner RDA helped Sok enroll in our pig program.

Along with her neighbors, Sok was taught how to best raise, feed and care for pigs. When she was ready, she was given a pig of her own to raise and care for.

Sok’s pig and newfound knowledge have allowed her to establish a stable income and make a reasonable profit. “I am so very grateful for the piglet, if CWS had not provided it, I would have never been able to buy one. I raised the piglet with the knowledge I was given, and I took good care of it. Within 10 months the pig gave me 7 piglets. I gave one piglet to my widowed daughter so that she could raise it and sold the other 6 piglets, earning $325. I used the money to buy rice and other necessities for my family. I also put some of the money into my family’s savings,” Sok shared.

In addition to establishing a stable income, Sok’s new pig farm has allowed her to dream and work towards a better future. Sok told CWS “I kept my pig so that I could keep breeding more piglets. I plan to use the money from selling the next piglets to expand my pig business and to aquaculture business (fish and eel raising). My hope is that in the future my husband who is getting older and my children will no longer need to work as a wage laborer. I can’t thank you enough for this support”.

Sok is one of the many women and villagers in Cambodia who have become foundational in helping their families maintain stability throughout the pandemic. Her pig business and motivation to support her family, have given her a new life.