Cambodia is located on the Gulf of Thailand in Southeast Asia between Vietnam, Laos and Thailand; the country’s landscape is made up of low lying central plains, low mountains and the upper reaches of the Mekong Delta.
It’s a land in recovery. Rich in history and natural resources, Cambodia is influenced by decades of war and conflict. Ranked 139th out of the world’s 196 countries on the 2011 Human Development Index, it’s considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite recent socio-economics progress, 31 percent of the country’s estimated 15 million people live on less than $1.25 a day.
In Cambodia, 80 percent of the population lives in rural areas and half of the workforce is employed in agriculture, the country’s major industry. Rice farming is prevalent and many villagers raise cattle and pigs. However, due to slow growth and high mortality rates combined with a lack of education and access to new technologies, productivity is slow and many families can only produce enough food for a few months out of the year. When food is in short supply, many farmers end up borrowing money from lenders, usually with interest rates as high as 10 percent.
Heifer's Work in Cambodia
To address the challenges of income deficiency, lack of nutritional food options and illiteracy, for more than ten years, Heifer International Cambodia has used a holistic development approach that encourages rural families to become involved in the community development process. To begin with, families receive a package of agricultural inputs, like beef cattle, pigs, chickens, fish fingerlings, fodder, vegetable seeds or cassava stems, apply the Heifer Cornerstones, receive education and training in technical skills so that they are able to improve and diversify their food production in a sustainable manner. This process builds up self-confidence and provides a way to be self-reliant for a better future.
Heifer Cambodia works with small farmers to improve productivity and provide access to markets. Heifer enables limited-resource farm families to improve the quality of their lives and equips them to assist others, providing opportunities for families to produce and share food and income from their own resources in ways that are economically and ecologically sound. Based on Heifer’s best practice on internalized holistic development, the participating families form and work as self-help groups, which encourages full participation.
Key Services Heifer Provides:
Sustainable agricultural production: Organic farming, composting, improved swine and native chicken production, vegetable/kitchen gardening
Post-harvest management and processing: Food grain storage and food waste management
Market development: Value chain development, capacity building on marketing and financial management for SHGs, cooperatives/farmer associations
Technology: Breeding and selection, swine feeding techniques and AI
Nutrition: Promotion of kitchen gardens and home consumption of vegetables and animal product
See where Heifer is working around the world to end hunger.
Uzo Aduba Says Ugandans' Generosity of Spirit During Charity Trip 'Was Unlike Anything I Had Seen Before.' ... Please click the title of the story to read more!
Dear Heifer, I am a teacher in the small, rural school of West Greene District in PA. I also love travel, and do so frequently with my fiancee and have organized an International Club at my school. My fiancee and I have been to numerous countries (17 for me, 38 for him--he is a retired US Marine), and the students have raised money and in the last four years have traveled to England, France, Greece and Italy. They are currently fundraising for the next trip in 2017, a return to London and Paris, albeit with a new group. I do my best to open the world and its experiences to my students, many of whom have never traveled outside of their own state, let alone another country. I try to expose them to the sometimes vast differences between the life they know in the US and that of others in various countries. To that end, I encourage donations whenever possible. In the past, the West Greene International Club has donated twice to Cambodia, a country near to my heart after visiting there. Our last donation was a few months ago, and we received a lovely certificate from Heifer, which is proudly displayed in my classroom. With that certificate came a note concerning Heifer's latest project spotlight--Vietnam--which I immediately showed to my students. I have also visited that beautiful country and showed my photos to the students and told them about the people there. In the spirit of Christmas, my students brought in donations--single dollars, coins, pennies, etc. A fellow teacher donated as well. We proudly enclose our check for $50. Warm regards, Rebecca M.
Dear Heifer International, The fifth grade class at Des Arc Elementary recently read the book Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier, about a young girl in Uganda whose family was drastically improved because they were gifted a goat from Heifer International. The class decided instead of exchanging Christmas presents, they would like to try to collect enough money to purchase a goat and help those less fortunate. It is our hope that other classes as well as schools will follow suit and give to such a wonderful organization. With love, Des Arc Elementary 5th grade class
Menaul School is a faith based 6-12 private day and boarding school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have a large international population, and conduct a global week each school year to celebrate our diversity. This year as part of global week we chose to have an indoor soccer tournament with each grade level raising a minimum of $100.00 for a specific charity and country. The winning middle school and upper school team received the funds from the other groups to fund their charity. Our eighth grade students chose Heifer International as their charity and Ghana as their country. They were victorious and so were able to donate $449.00 to Heifer for their ongoing work in Ghana. Submitted by Jim Doyle
Karson, a transitional kindergarten student, drew this scene to depict the Heifer project families in India that Heifer International has helped. We thank you for the thoughtful drawing, Karson!
Thuy received the gift of geese and they have been a perfect match on her small farm. The training she received provided essential knowledge in their care.
The chickens her grandmother received made it possible for her to care for Gladys and her 11 cousins who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Sinath says, "I think Passing on the Gift® was the best activity in our life. I was so excited."
When Edwin's mother received 10 chickens, she was overwhelmed with gratitude by the kindness of strangers.
Thanks to Heifer donors, Meide and her husband have been able to rebuild their lives after the devastating Sichuan earthquake.
On behalf of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in LeMars, Iowa, I am writing with thanks for your wonderful organization! We had the privilege of using your cause and organization for our children's annual vacation bible school missions project. The students loved learning about all the ways you help families and communities. Our attendees raised over $500.00 to donate, and with the help of our church's Mission Commission, we recently donated in the amount of $630.00 to you! Click the title of this story to read more...
In May 2013, I was travelling to Cambodia with the Heifer team working on training their Community Animal Health Workers. Click the title of this story to read more...
Pat Sayer-Handley volunteers for Heifer International in Sacramento, CA, pictured here with Irene Muwanguzi, Country Director for Uganda. When asked why she volunteers with Heifer, here's what Pat said: "Living through the 60's, I learned to question the effectiveness of organizations carrying out their mission. So when I was introduced to Heifer International, I examied the organization carefully. Were the programs creating self-reliant women and families? Were the programs working to care for the earth? The answers were 'yes' and Irene's leadership has helped me further my understanding of the work of Heifer International. I continue as an ardent supporter of Heifer International."
On the final day of 2013, members of the Improving Livelihoods in the Poorest District of Soc Trang Province project’s self-help group #1 warmly welcomed the Gluckman family to Phu Tam commune, Chau Thanh district. The married couple and their two children were vacationing in Vietnam and wanted to visit a Heifer project. They have been donating to Heifer International for 20 years.
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.
Paula and Camila Rojas just moved to South Africa from Colombia. Although they’re still getting a feel for the South African environment and change in curriculum, the sisters embarked on their own campaign to raise awareness and funds for Heifer South Africa after they heard about Heifer through the Read to Feed program at their school.
Nikhil Chetty, a grade two learner at Crawford Preparatory School in La Lucia, South Africa has always participated actively in the Read to Feed Program. His passion for the program and determination to help end hunger and poverty is an incredible affirmation of Heifer’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.
When I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Heifer International, I was thrilled because it was an opportunity to support a cause whereby I have personally witnessed its contribution towards alleviating poverty. In my own little way, I hope I can contribute towards the mission of Heifer International in ending hunger and poverty in the world.
Heifer India participant, Jaituna Ameen Khan, recites 12 Cornerstones of Heifer International
I love giving and Heifer International is one wonderful way to continue giving in a very effective way.
This episode was a life-changer. It totally shifted my paradigm to what Sharing and Caring is all about. Where before I lived without caring whether I made a difference in other people’s lives, that day I vowed with great resolve to share whatever I can with the needy. I will sincerely give, and more.