Heifer Improves Literacy and Gender Equality in Cambodia
Mrs. Roeum Yieb lives in Churng Turk village, Prey Veng province, Cambodia with her husband and two children. Her husband, Chuk Khut, is the village chief of Churng Turk.
Roeum Yieb joined a Heifer project in 2010 and was quickly selected as the Literacy Facilitator (LF) to provide literacy classes to her self-help group (SHG). Before joining the project, Roeum Yieb was always quiet, immersing herself in household chores, taking care of children and having little interaction with her community. Training in Heifer's 12 Cornerstones for Just and Sustainable Development opened her eyes, motivating her to help end illiteracy in her village. Her capacity and skills have been built through Heifer's Values-Based Literacy Training of Trainers. She works hard to provide numeric and literacy skills not only to her fellow SHG members, but other villagers as well. She also covers issues like domestic violence, human and animal well-being, and strengthening solidarity in the community through Heifer's Cornerstones.
Reoum Yiep (right) presents a memento to an outstanding literacy participant who earned a high score on the final exam.
Her family life has also changed since participating in the Heifer project.
"I can do all the activities to help the community with support from my husband, who helps with household chores," said Roeum Yieb. "Before participating in the project, my husband never cared about the family's health. He did not help in household chores, raising the animals or earning a family income, except through his government work. But he has changed his attitude after attending the Cornerstones training. Now he helps with cooking, taking care of the children, cleaning up the house and feeding the animals. He also helps explain for me the different meanings and difficult words in the literacy books."
Reoum Yiep, Chuk Khut and their two children work in their home garden in Turk village, Rong Damrei commune, Baphnom district, Prey Veng province.
Chuk Khut added, "Before, I thought that household chores and feeding the animals were women's daily jobs, not for men. But after attending the Cornerstones training, I understand now that the job is for both women and men. Since I have internalized the Cornerstones, I help my wife do work such as cleaning the house and animal pens, and feeding the pigs and chickens. Women and men have equal rights in doing the work, helping each other to make a happy family."