Mr. N is one of our farmer leaders.
Mr. A is 43 years old. Mr. N lives in Beng village, Prey Paun commune, Kampong Trabek district, PreyVeng province. His wife is 42 years old and they have several children. Two of their children live and depend on them. Mr. N owns land used for rice farming and a home-stead. Mr. N joined our program in April 2014 where he has been an active participant as a farmer but also taking advantage of RAP's training and coaching in technical innovation in organic agriculture. We consider him one of our " model farmers" due to his hard work and success in learning new farming techniques.
As a model farmer in our program he has received some incentives from the project such as fish fingerling to stock a small pond, vegetable seeds, chicks for breeding , tree nursery, canal rehabilitation, one drilled well and organic fertilizer. As a result of all of these resources: training, coaching, and exchange visits with other farmers , he now uses these innovations in ecologically sound agriculture and in 2015 experienced the following results:
Due to Mr. N's success in vegetable and rice production, the neighbors and two other organizations came to learn from him on his farm.
His family’s total farming income from agriculture is 4,840,000Riel which is about $ 1250 US Dollars. (Chicken: 430,000 Riel, Pig: 3,250,000 Riel, Fish: 210,000 Riel, Vegetable: 950,000 Riel ).
Mr. N can see that since he changed from chemical fertilizer to organic fertilizer and has changed some of his farming techniques that his agricultural outputs have increased remarkably. Based on these results, he is committed to organic farming for his home garden and maintaining his entire rice field as an organic farm going forward.
This is a great example of how the success of one individual in a community can build skills in others and in this program promote a "green" and more ecologically sound way of life while increasing income.
We welcome your continued support of our efforts in this area and hope that you will encourage others to join you in making a real difference for a better world.
Barbara & Mark Rosasco
Getting accepted into college is a great accomplishment , but paying college tuition is only a part of the challenge for our students. Our college students come from extremely poor families and some are also impacted by the dual challenge of extreme poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS in their immediate families. Within this context, it is amazing to consider that our college students have for years , despite formidable challenges, set and achieved annual goals such as completeing a year of school, passing exams to move upward to the next class, graduating from grade schoool, middle school and then high school . Keep in mind that it is estimated that only 40% of all Cambodian students finish high school and the national educational average is thought to be 6th grade.
However, regardless of the breathtaking accomplishments of our college age students to become "college ready" , the simple fact is that they come from families who are just too poor to help them with any aspect of paying for a college education.
Tuition , books, supplies and transportation can run from $ 400 to $800 per semester in Cambodia. Beyond those costs, our students also need assistance with housing, food ,and small personal expenses which can average $ 100 or more per month per student.
.As a small non profit, we are closely involved with our program participants and sometimes we are able to harness the power of one project to benefit more than just the group initially intended. Pairing our College program with Jobs for Youth is a great example of this.For some years we have run our Our Jobs for Cambodian Youth program side by side our program to help our college students to access the college education they have strived to reach.
Our Jobs for Cambodian Youth program has become a key " success link" for these students, providing vital employment income to several of our college students who are employed in various capacities at our Champey Academy of Arts project.
A central theme to all our programs is a focus on the power of education.Indeed, education and mentoring are key to helping children mired in the hand to mouth lifeftyle of poverty, see that bettering their lives is possible. The benefits of employing these college students goes far beyond the income that the jobs provide as their accomplishments also position them as peer mentors for the disadvantaged children who participate in our Champey Academy's art, dance and music programs. It is staggering to consider the impact that some of these kids must feel when they can see that their peer mentors are actually in college and to realize that one day, that could also be them !
Your support has allowed us to pay for tuition and books for our students and create one more " success link" in a chain of actions needed to enable these young people to continue to move forward in achieving our main goal for them of helping them to break the cycle of inherited poverty.
Our heartfelt thanks on behalf of all of our program's participants for your past and continued support.
Our college program currently serves 11 students. We are so proud that one of our students graduated this past year. Sdoeurn, graduated in October 2015 with a degree in accounting. Her ultimate dream is to become CPA .Mark recently visited her familiy in Prey Veng. The family is of extremely modest means, even by local Cambodian rural standards, so much so, that the family relies on accessing basic amenities, such as a restroom, with a neighboring family. Most adults in her neighborhood have little education and many are illiterate. Sdoeurn's family farms a small plot for rice.Sdoeurn came to our attention as a result of our dance program at Baphnom District High School in rural Prey Veng province. Baphnom High School has a student population of about 2500 students who come from throughout the district of Prey Veng. Kasumisou Foundation has, for the past several years sponsored a modest dance program in traditional Khmer ( Cambodian ) dance for 30-35 students. It is worth noting that many students attending the district high school walk or ride bikes along dirt roads for several miles , some coming as many as 5 miles to attend school.Sdoeurn was one of several graduating high school students in the dance program at Baphnom High School who had approached Kasumisou Foundation to see if there was any way that we could help them continue on to attend college. Graduation from high school in Cambodia is quite an accomplishment in and of itself, as it is estimated that only 40% of all students graduate from high school.Determined to attend college, Sdoeurn and her family borrowed money against their small farm to help her get a start in her college studies. She began attending classes in the autumn of 2012 and in January 2013 we started our college program, helping her and a few other determined new high school graduates to begin college.During her college years , Sdoeurn worked as a junior dance teacher at our Champey Academy. Her modest earnings helped her to support herself . She shared a room with a roommate, with her share of of rent and utilities costing about $40 per month . Her staff job at Champey not only provided income but also helped to provide her with food: we provide rice and cooking facilities at Champey and each one of the staff chip in $0.50 per day (2000 riel) to buy some cooked food from a market stall which they then all share.For the comning year Sdoeurn will work full time as a book keeper in our Jobs for Youth Program at our project, Champey Academy, where she will be building a work resume in her field to move her forward professionally to a better position.Sdoeurn continues in her efforts to achieve her dream of becoming a CPA. Your support of this program has been vitally important in helping her and other students like her to move forward and break the cycle of inherited poverty.We are deeply grateful to you all for your generous support and we are so very proud of our new college graduate, Sdoeurn.Barbara & Mark Rosasco