Cambodian Rural Development Team

Vision: "A Cambodia free of poverty and environmental degradation." Mission: "To improve food security, incomes, and living standards of subsistence rural communities in support of environmental conservation throughout Cambodia."
Jan 27, 2014

A Motivated Micro-enterprise of 5 Women in Koh Preah

Ms. Vannara showing her fish sauce products
Ms. Vannara showing her fish sauce products

November 2013 to January 2014

This report highlights the project progress, challenges, and additional needs. The report also includes the case of Ms. Vannara and her livelihood improvement by joining in a micro local enterprise of fish sauce production with her 5 neighbors.

Activities, Achievements, and Next work plan

Since November 2013, with funding support from Global Giving donors, Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT) started to implement this new project by working with 375 women in Sre Krasaing, Siem Bok and Koh Sralay communes in Siem Bok district to strengthen their capacities in livelihood development. The majority of the women are the members of the Livelihood Community Based Organizations (CBOs) formed and facilitated by CRDT since 2008. By working with CRDT, the groups were trained and coached on agriculture techniques for growing rice and vegetable, raising pig and chicken, and starting group saving. Then, small grants were released to support the women to start up their livelihood activities. This additional assistance from Global Giving offered these women opportunities to expand their livelihood activities after CRDT phased out its initial project ending in late 2012.

During this reporting period, CRDT focused on the Fish Sauce Women Association comprising of 5 women. Follow up meeting with the Chief of the association gave the insights into the facing needs that their enterprise lacks (1) the techniques for storing the cooked fish sauce to avoid fungi development after a desired period of 1 year, (2) the containers with proper tabs for bottling fish sauce, (3) the kitchen to maintain high level of hygiene in production, (4) packaging technique and materials, and (5) the capital to enlarge the production scale to generate more income.

So far, the project raised USD 555 from 10 global giving donors. In the next period, CRDT will try to optimize the use of this fund together with the communities’ own fund from saving to tackle the above needs of the fish sauce women association. However, more funding is really needed so that the rest of the needs could be met effectively and the group will be fully empowered to lead themselves toward a sustainable and profitable fish sauce enterprise.

Let’s hear from the Chief of the group, Ms. Vannara, aged 45, chief of the association. “Our fish sauce production is now more well know in the local markets, and in 2013 we received a satisfactory amount of order from customers from both Stung Treng province and the other parts of Cambodia because they like the smell and taste of our fish sauce and believe in the quality of natural raw materials (freshwater fish) we used in our production. Actually, we can compete in the market if we improve our production a little bit more. Unfortunately, so far we could not meet some market demands on quality which requires our fish sauce not to have fungi within a year after production. Also, they need our fish sauce to upgrade its packaging because nice package is very important to show that our product is with quality and hygiene. If we could meet all these demands, we would have a lot of market opportunities and could make a significant income from this small enterprise for our members and the other villagers.”

I hope that through this project and with support from Global Giving and CRDT, our micro-enterprise will be upgraded in the near future, and I would like to thank very much to global giving donors for providing us with the hope to strengthen and sustain our enterprise. I wish you all good lucks and success in all your work.

Fish sauce production site
Fish sauce production site
Fish sauce containers
Fish sauce containers
Fish sauce bottles washed and dried for filling
Fish sauce bottles washed and dried for filling
CRDT meeting with fish sauce group
CRDT meeting with fish sauce group
Children in Koh Preah
Children in Koh Preah
Nov 20, 2013

325 families in rural Cambodia were made self reliant thanks to you !

Project
Project's beneficiary feeding her chickens

In the last two months, CRDT has received from the Global Giving donors the amount of 1,115 USD. These donations make the target funding of 10,760 USD reach its threshold. However, even before receiving all donations, we implemented the project continuously by supporting 325 families in Damrei Phong commune to be self-reliant through the formation of 21 livelihood CBOs. This report aims at providing the information on the achievements of the project as well as its future plan before we move to fundraise for another project in Steung Treng province, Cambodia.

Project Achievements and Evaluation

Over the last three years (from January 2011 to November 2013), with the funding from our Global Giving donors, CRDT has been working in Damrei Phong commune in providing the 21 CBOs’ members with sustainable livelihood supports. During the project period, 10 training courses were conducted (2 on pig raising, 2 on chicken raising, 2 on vegetable growing, 2 on saving, 1 on leadership, and 1 on small grant proposal writing). In addition, a total budget of 5,650 USD in the form of small grants was also provided to support the development of the livelihood activities of the 21 CBOs’ members. Through these capacity buildings and funding support, the 21 CBOs’ members took the first step toward self-reliance particularly in the area of household food security. Above all, the projects’ beneficiaries declared that the project has brought positive changes in their lives and in their commune especially on the three main aspects of improved family welfare, improved local empowerment, and improved gender equality.

However, while most CBO members have improved their living standards with the activities and the surplus of their produces, some others are still struggling to reach their food security and to get out of poverty. This is because their activities have unfortunately been affected by life hazards such as flooding, drought, and animal disease more frequently than the others. Nevertheless, they will not give up easily as they understood clearly about the benefit from the activities. Failures make them even stronger especially when they will be facing the same hazards next time. 

Future Plan for Project Sustainability

Through the project evaluation, we found out that some CBO members especially those who were challenged by the natural disasters in their livelihood activities still need further funding support in order for them to restart their activities. Thus, CRDT plans to use the remaining budget of 1,115 USD as revolving fund to support them. The idea of revolving fund is that all members will use the fund in rotation (in the form of loan with very low interest rate) over a specific period in order for them to restart their livelihood activities. One CRDT’s staff will continue to monitor and provide consultation to the CBO members in order to make sure that they could totally self-manage the revolving fund. So far, we are proud to report that the achievements of the project will continue to be sustainable over the long term.

Thank you so much to our donors for their generosity with our Cambodian rural poor people. On behalf of all 21 CBOs’ members and CRDT, I wish you good luck, good health, and prosperity in your lives. We look forward to seeing you supporting our next project again at Sustainable lives for 375 women in rural Cambodia

Watermelon farm in the village
Watermelon farm in the village
Rice field in the village
Rice field in the village
Cassava farm in the village
Cassava farm in the village
Making banana chip for sale
Making banana chip for sale
Oct 21, 2013

Progress report August-Oct 2013

Sophoeun feeding her chickens in her house yard
Sophoeun feeding her chickens in her house yard

This progress report focuses on the family of Sophoeun and her livelihood activities as well as the improvements in her life. Nevertheless, it will also report on the challenges and possible solutions in her activities especially lately during the period of flooding in her village.

Sopheoun 39, lives in Treak village, in Kratie province. She is a farmer and the breadwinner of her family which consists of 7 members—her aged parents, two sisters, and two nephews aged 4 and 6. In her daily life with support from other members of the family, she grows rice, vegetables, raises pig and chicken to make the whole families’ living.

Sopheoun has joined CRDT in late 2009. Her CBO group has 42 members, and they decided to follow the activities such as saving, chicken raising and pig raising. Since first established, the group was provided by CRDT with a small grant of about 2 000 000 riel (500 USD), 9 toilets, 21 rain water storages, 30 containers for vegetable watering, and 12 water containers for household use. Lately since 2012 with the funding support from the GlobalGiving, this CBO has been strengthened with a series of trainings including chicken raising, pig raising, rice growing, and vegetable gardening together with the provision of seeds to improve their livelihood.

As for Sophoeun, she enjoyed the saving activity, chicken raising and vegetable growing. She was provided with 5 hens, 3 roosters, and some vegetable seeds for the start of her activities. She mentioned that after she started these activities her family’s living was improved. She said “Before, we rarely ate chicken because we couldn’t afford to buy chicken from the market. Now, we eat chicken often (at least once a week) from our own raising.” They also find it easier to collect vegetables from their garden while they could save money to buy other needed stuffs. They feel that they are having nutritious food and healthier lives. Sophoeun even plans to expand her chicken raising so that she could have surplus to sell out in the market for additional income.

Despite these improvements, Sophoeun is currently facing some challenges in her chicken raising. Due to floodwater surrounding the village in September, she could not find enough feed for chicken, thus she decided to free them so that they could find food by themselves nearby the house rather than keeping them in the pen like before. Unfortunately this led to baby chicks being frequently bitten to death by rats and cats, and some adult chickens got sick. She said that now she has less chicken than before, with only 3 hens left. She is worried that she could not continue to raise them all well like before. Above all, the flood destroyed about 30% of her 1 ha ricefield.

The same terrible things happened to other families in her village as well. In September 2013, the floodwater from the Mekong River and the continual rainfalls lasted for 3 weeks in the farming areas and destroyed the majority of their crops especially rice and cassava. In the whole village of 200 families, the flood caused damage of about 70% rice and 50% cassava. However, Sopheoun continued that “we fortunately have some saving of 400 000 riel (about 100USD) in our group so we can manage to give loan to some of our members who most need it to buy seeds to re-grow. Still, there are many other members who could no longer access the loan this time plus about 20 more families in this village which have no mean to replace their rice crop with new seeds. It would be very much helpful if CRDT could help my group and other villagers in this urgent situation so that we can continue to improve our livelihood like before.”    

Where there is GlobalGiving, there is hope for our beneficiaries! We would very much appreciate if you could make a donation for rice seed supply for 20 families in Treak village and even more families in nearby villages in Damrey Phong commune to re-grow rice for their own consumption this year. 

Toilet provided by CRDT to Sopheun
Toilet provided by CRDT to Sopheun's family
Rainwater storage provided by CRDT to Sophoeun
Rainwater storage provided by CRDT to Sophoeun
Flooded rice field
Flooded rice field
Road damaged by the floods
Road damaged by the floods

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