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When she was a small child, Heifer Cambodia country director Keo Keang received half a pencil from donors who wanted to help poor schoolchildren. She was one of six children to a single mother, who had repeatedly told her that education was the key to a better life. KK knew the significance of that pencil and cherished that small gift. That half a pencil inspired her to become who she is today.

Today, International Women's Day, is a time to call attention to the fact that, though we've made significant strides, gender inequality still exists in the world. In Cambodia, education for girls and women is not considered a priority. Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme, and "encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change."

That is exactly what KK is doing for women all over Cambodia. Cambodia remains one of the world's poorest countries. Nearly 40 percent of children in the region suffer from malnourishment, and as many as 1.5 million people live on under $1.25 a day. By giving hardworking women the tools and training they need, KK is helping create positive change their entire communities.

Heifer Cambodia Country Director Keo Keang talks about what drives her to help empower other Cambodian women. 

If you're looking for some way to take action on this International Women's Day, you can help provide more than just half a pencil for women in Cambodia so that they can help pave the way out of poverty for their families and for future generations. Go to for more information. 


Annie Bergman

Annie Bergman is a Global Communications Manager and helps plan, assign and develop content for the nonprofit’s website, magazine and blog. Bergman has interviewed survivors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, beekeepers in Honduras, women’s groups in India and war widows in Kosovo, among many others in her six years at Heifer.