Training communities for self-reliance and sustainability

Partners in compassion (PC) Cambodia with the support of Viatores Christi, for the past few years has been implementing a project that is making an effort to create a sustainable community-based care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) including children affected by HIV and AIDS in Cambodia. This endeavor has remarkably registered some positive outcomes.

Mrs. Hing Nen is one of the beneficiaries and attests to the opportunities that have been opened up for her since encountering this project. she is 38 years of age and lives in Kandal village-Batie district, Takeo-Cambodia. Before the project, she lived in a small house made from timber, with no roof, no wall and when the monsoon time came, she and her family did not feel safe. Hing’s husband is a construction worker and their family solely depended on his income. This income was not sufficient to take care of all the needs of the family which hardened the situation in which they lived. She was also a stay-at-home mother which angered her husband at times because he wanted her to work and earn a living to contribute towards financially supporting their family.

In order to support her husband, she started working at a garment factory and this went on for one (1) year but was forced to resign due to her poor health. This only cemented their poor living conditions. She returned to staying at home and taking care of the family.

VC and Partners In Compassion (Cambodia) intervention

During Partners in Compassion’s screening for beneficiaries, Hing’s family was among the ones that had been classified as “very poor” and an ID poor card was awarded to them by the local authority. The children that she was taking care of and the state in which she was living met the criteria of selection for this project and therefore her family was selected to join the project.

Hing is a care giver to Three (3) children that are being taken care of by the project and one of them is her 15-year-old son who is studying at a secondary school. Partners in Compassion with the support of Viatores Christi (VC) has provided the family with welfare support and also with school and hygiene supplies. Hing’s children are also provided with funding for extra classes at school.

Positive outcomes of the intervention

The project supported Hing to repair her house. She actively participated in project supported activities such as literacy class, became a member of a saving group and also joined in handicraft training. She now has skill and knowledge from the training, she discussed with her husband to get a loan from the savings group so that she could buy materials for income generating purposes. Hing is now creating handicraft products (making hammock) and taking care of poultry. In a day, she can make about eight (8) hammocks and still has time to take care of the poultry. She sells the hammocks in the village for a reasonable amount.

Mrs. Hing Nen making Hammocks at her home in Cambodia

“I am happy to make hammocks because their market is easy to find in the village.” Says Hing

Her success has come from having a positive outlook on life and believing that she can stay at home, take care of her family and also make a living at the same time. She also credits the project for this change of attitude and betterment of her family’s welfare as a whole.