Wildlife Alliance’s Tropical Reforestation Project in the Southern Cardamom Mountains employs 114 community members, providing them with a steady income and an alternative to slash-and-burn farming. One community member that has benefited from the program is Doem Seam, an energetic 60-year old widow, who has experienced great hardship in her life.
Doem Seam is originally from Kandal Province, but has been living in Koh Kong for over 40 years. She moved to the area in 1970 with her husband, however, great tragedy struck in 1975 when, in the middle of the night, Seam’s husband was violently taken away by Khmer Rouge cadres. During these difficult times, there was a shortage of medicine and widespread famine, and Seam lost five of her children to illness. She lives with her two surviving sons in Chi Phat. Even through these difficult times, Seam remained determined and strong. She supported her family by working as a police officer in Thmar Bang District in Koh Kong and after her retirement, she joined the Reforestation Project in 2007 as a manager.
Seam oversees the work of over 20 community staff members to maintain 733 hectares (1,811 acres) of reforested land. Her team works to enrich the soil, remove invasive weeds, and grow saplings in the nursery. Work at the reforestation site provides her with a sense of tranquility. She loves the forest, and finds that the trees soothe her mind and soul. Throughout the 80s and 90s, Seam witnessed massive destruction of the Southern Cardamoms by people and logging companies. She is happy to be part of a mission to help bring back this degraded land to its former splendor.
Help us continue to restore the Southern Cardamom Mountains and provide alternative livelihoods to community members like Doem Seam by making a gift this year. taking part in our Matching Gift Challenge. Every gift made from now until December 31st will be matched 3-to-1. You donation will help us combat deforestation, watershed destruction, and continue to provide hundreds of families with alternative livelihoods.
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Communications and Finance Field Liaison