Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia

by Kasumisou Foundation
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia
Rural Assistance Program Prey Veng (RAP), Cambodia

Currently, there is not a lot that we can write about to  update  our Rural Assistance Program.

Our reports in April and August detailed how the COVID 19 virus created severe travel restrictions making it impossible  to run this program without the assurances and safeguards  of our  personal  supervision and  close staff support.  This type of monitoring  has always  been a critical element of our program and we feel that it has been key to our success in our ability to achieve so many of our goals over the past 20 years. Unlike our programs in  Phnom Penh , we do not have locally placed staff in the countryside  that are of the caliber needed  to oversee the operations of the entire program. Although this has always been a  challenge,Mark’s frequent  on-site visits to review  our projects were essential to monitor and maintain  efficient use of our limited  resources.

Cambodia still has very strict travel restrictions.   At the end of April Cambodia was  closed to entry by Americans and Europeans. Although now it may be  possible to visit, a combination of testing,and required  14 day quarantine continue to make a visit unfeasible.  Consequently, for the time being, we reluctantly  continue  the current operation of our Rural Assistance Program. Now ,based on recent developments with COVID 19, it is our assumption that this  suspension may last  through mid year 2021. 

Our decisions  have been based on the following factors:

1) Donor funds could not then, nor now,  provide funding adequate to maintain the program at its necessary  levels. 

2) In the US and Japan ,where most of our donor base lives, the  economic impact of the coronavirus crisis  had  combined with weather extremes - ranging from typhoons, hurricanes and most recently , wildfires  in California to  create   urgently competing needs  for donor funds. Now renewed shut down of businesses due to surging COVID cases in the US and the continued impact of COVID in Japan, this further impacts our fundraising abilities.

In light of these conditions,  we feel that we  must  continue  the suspension of our program’s operations as we wait to see how things develop. We are disappointed that this is where we find ourselves, but we feel that  we have no  choice, We will keep you posted on any updates as they occur.

We are deeply grateful to you,  our donors , for your  generous and long time support of this program. It is our sincere hope that we  will be able to move forward  at some point in 2021.

With heartfelt thanks for your understanding,  

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

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It is a considerable challenge to write an update for our Rural Assistance Program.

Our April report detailed how the COVID 19 virus had created severe travel restrictions that made it difficult to run this program without the assurances of high levels of close supervision and staff support.  This has always  been a critical element of our program and one of the main reasons that we have been able to achieve so many of our goals over the past 20 years. At the present time, unlike our programs in  Phnom Penh , we do not have locally placed staff in the countryside  that are of the caliber needed  to oversee the operations of the entire program.    Although this has always been a  challenge, Mark’s frequent  on-site visits tonreview  our projects were essential to insure efficient use of our limited  resources.

Cambodia still has strict travel restrictions.   At the end of April  Cambodia was  closed to entry by Americans and Europeans, making it impossible for Mark to visit.   Consequently,   we reluctantly made the decision,   to suspend, for the time being,  further operation of our Rural Assistance Program.  Now , as then, it  is our assumption that this  suspension may   last  until  the end of calendar year 2020. 

Our decision was based on the following factors:

1) Donor funds could not then, nor now,  provide funding adequate to maintain the program at its necessary  levels. 

2) In the US and Japan ,where most of our donor base lives, the  economic impact of the coronavirus crisis  has  combined with weather extremes - ranging from typhoons, hurricanes and most recently , wildfires  in California to  create   urgently competing needs  for donor funds.

3) Consequently,  we feel that we have no choice but to continue  the suspension of our program’s operations   as we wait to see how things develop. 

We are disappointed that this is where we find ourselves, but we feel that  we have no  choice but  to  continue our suspension through year end as  we  evaluate what might be possible in the new year.   We will keep you posted on any updates as they occur.

We are deeply grateful to you,  our donors , for your  generous and long time support of this program. It is our sincere hope that we  will be able to move forward in 2021.

With heartfelt thanks for your understanding,  

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

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Since our last project report in January, the world has changed dramatically  due to the impact of the COVID 19 virus. The global economic impact combined with strict travel restrictions have made it difficult to continue to maintain the  high levels of close supervision and staff support of our program which we know have been critical to the success  of this program over the past 20 years. 

At the end of April ,  Cambodia remaned closed to entry by Americans and Europeans, making it impossible for Mark to travel    and even local quarantine restrictions remaining in place in Cambodia , inhibiting travel by locals throughout the country.  Consequently,   we reluctantly made the decision to suspend, for the time being,  further operation of our Rural Assistance Program. It is our assumption that this may potentially   last  until   the end of calendar year 2020. 

Our decision was based on the following factors.


1) Donor funds do not currently  provide funding adequate to maintain the program at its previous levels. 

2) We believe that, due to the coronavirus crisis now gripping the world and the unlikelihood that it will be resolved this year, fundraising through the balance of 2020 is going to be extremely difficult.

3) Given #1 and #2 above, we felt that we had no choice but to suspend the operation of our program, as we wait to see how things develop. 

We are very disappointed that this is where we find ourselves , but  without  a firm committment of funding, we have not choice but  to pause for now as we  evaluate what might potentially  be possible with reduced resources  once travel restrictions begin to ease.  We will keep you posted on any updates as they occur.

We are deeply grateful to our donors for their generous and long time support of this program and it is our sincere hope that we at some point we will be able to once again move forward.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco 

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Mobil Rice Mill
Mobil Rice Mill

Update on the Moringa Project.

As you will recall, in Fall 2016, we wrote to you about Mark’s visit to Prey Veng Province in rural Cambodia in September of that year.  At that time, he had meetings with our long time local development partner to discuss how to  continue providing economic opportunities to our farmers in this somewhat remote area of Cambodia.

Once such possible  collaboration involved a small moringa processing and distribution company in Phnom Penh which was looking for a reliable supply of organically grown moringa leaves.  Moringa is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and its antioxidant properties are believed to prevent or inhibit  cell damage, making it a popular dietary supplement in many regions of the world.


The agreed plan called for the moringa company to  contract with our farmers to purchase a minimum  quantity of moringa leaves each month. With that guaranteed market for their leaves and their ability to access water  with the wells which we provide to them, the farmers could have confidence to convert some of their fields to plant moringa.

Adding  moringa to the fruits and vegetables that we have historically encouraged our farmers  to plant on their homestead land ( the land that immediately surrounds their houses), we expected that the farmers could get a significant boost to their cash incomes while further diversifying away from dependence on the single annual crop of rice that is the mainstay of farming in Prey Veng. The program had and still has  the potential to be a real " game changer" for our farmers by boosting their incomes.

The agreement which we made with the moringa processor/markerter to buy  our farmer’s organically grown moringa leaves, would in the initial stage,  include about 50 farmers and create  an estimated increase in  annual cash income of roughly $750  per farmer.

In the early years, the program generated great excitement among our farmers and many joined a waiting list to be included in the program. However, the processor’s early projections of demands for his product  proved to be too optimistic as commitments that  he had received from a couple of large foreign buyers evaporated and the local market for moringa products became saturated due to the arrival of a number of new competitors.

Unfortunately, at the end of 2018 the processor was forced to cut back  on purchases from our farmers and in early 2019 it became clear to us and to our farmers that the processor would not be able to honor  the initial purchase commitments.  In mid-2019, we suspended the program pending finding a new and more reliable partner  or the ability of our initial partner to recommit to his purchase commitments.

Like many efforts in life, the moringa programs shows us that  there is not always an immediate straight line to success.  However, although the moringa project is currently on hold, we continue to support our farmers, as we have done for since our RAP program began in January 1999,  with education and training to improve their knowledge and skills and  by doing so,  help our farmers to  raise crop yields and promote the organic farming techniques have literally transformed this area and successfully contributed to the continued  increase in farming incomes over the past 20 years . Your support of this program has ,over these many years,  continues the transformation  this area to a new green belt supporting chemical free farming. 

One final note, the truck that you see in the pictures is a mobile rice mill which travels the country roads and hulls rice for small farmers. We thought you might find it interesting to learn more about some of the services that our farmers utilize.

Again, we appreciate your support of our efforts to bring self sufficiency and responsible land use to this rural area.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Mobil Rice mill   from another angle
Mobil Rice mill from another angle
Farming Family next to their home
Farming Family next to their home
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MS YS
MS YS

Mark was in Cambodia the first week of September and during that period of time he visited Prey Veng, where our Rural Assistance Program is located.  The main topic of discussion was our well drilling program. We are currently considering applications for 20 wells. Mark met with several of the farmers . We will introduce you to two of these families below.

Access to safe and reliable water is a game changer for these subsistence farmers, many of whom have only tiny plots of land upon which they depend upon a single rice crop each year for income. In recent years, grown children move to the cities  in search of factory work to augment family income.

Here are two of our candidates located in Svay Pork Villae ( Speu Kor (which means starfruit)  commune, Baphnom district

Mr.LS , age 47 and his wife Ms VS are 45 have three children  ages 23, 20  and   years old. Their homestead land measures only 0.12 hectare ( abut ¼ acre) and their rice field measures about 0.5 hectare  , or about 1.25 acres. They depend upon a single rice crop per year and money their  older children earn from garment factory work.  They currently get their drinking water from the farm of Ms. VS’s mother which is located nearby.

Ms. YS , age 44 and her husband Mr. HC , also age 44 have three children: a sone age 18 who worls in a garment factory in Phnom Penh, a daughter age 16 and a second son who is age 9.  Their honestead land measures just 006 hectare  about 1.8 acre) and their tiny rice field measus only 0.2 hectare, less than ½ acre. They currently get drinking water from a well that is at  Ms. YS’s mother’s house which is on a farm adjacent to theirs.

Access to a well is a game changer for these families in terms of quality  of life and the ability to grow vegetables and lessen their dependence on a single annual rice crop. These farmers , 2 of the many who have applied, have been selected due to their level of poverty and their proven ability to be good farmers given the challenging circumstances that they face.

Current total estimated cost for a well are around $ 280 which includes drilling and modest staff costs for our local team.

Your continued support of this effort really does changes lives and help these hard working farming families to continue in their efforts to lift themselves from poverty .

We deeply appreciate your generous support.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

 Mark Rosasco

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, California United States
$6,829 raised of $90,000 goal
 
106 donations
$83,171 to go
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