Our lives were miserable and sad as we were always facing food shortage two to three months out of the year and would end up borrowing from others. We used to raise animals but it was not productive, so we stopped.
In November 2012, the Chemrouen Cheat Khmer (CCK) organization and Heifer Cambodia started the "Improving Income and Nutrition through Community Empowerment” (INCOME) project in our village. Our family decided to join the self-help group in late 2012 and things began to change.
Growing up, I never had the chance to go to school. I had dreamed of going to school and my dream came true when I joined the group. I have attended literacy classes and can now read and write.
Another impressive part of Heifer’s work is the Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development. These 12 cornerstones are reflected in my family’s daily life.
We try hard to take good care of our animals so that we can pass them on to other poor families. Passing on the Gift reminds us that other poor families are still in need of resources to improve their living conditions, and we can help.
Improved Animal Management has taught us proper techniques for animal management and my husband now knows how to take good care of our pigs.
Nutrition and Income made me realize I was not providing the best nutrition for my family. Now, we grow a lot of vegetables in our home garden and sell the remaining surplus.
As a result of using all of these Cornerstones, our income has greatly increased. Our pigs are multiplying and we recently passed on three pigs to other village members. In addition, by selling our vegetables, we are able to save around $1.25 per day.
My family is very happy with the income that we are getting from selling our pigs, so we will continue to raise and sell them.
I am proud that I can use my knowledge to educate and encourage other villagers, especially the poor families, so they can become more independent and improve their living conditions. My family is so grateful to Heifer Cambodia and CCK for its support in providing us hope, improved self-confidence and the opportunity to stand up to change our living conditions.
-Ms. Ek Chhun, Heifer Cambodia Project Participant