Promoting Better Lives in Rural Cambodia: Better Lives Indeed for Touch and His Family

CWS Cambodia | June 12, 2017

Touch family small plot of land. Photo: CWS

Touch Oeun, 41, lives with his wife Kun Pich, 37, and their 9-year-old son in Rung Chrey village in western Cambodia. Also staying with the family are the 3- and 7-year-old daughters of Touch’s niece because she has migrated to the Thai border for work. The two older children go to the local school. The family have lived in Rung Chrey their whole lives, and Touch inherited 800m2 of land near their home, which he uses for vegetable farming to support his family.

Before getting to know CWS partner, Rural Development Association (RDA), Touch and his family planted and harvested vegetable twice a year – despite which, they often they did not have enough to eat. Also, they did not have access to a safe drinking water, so they boiled rain water to drink, which is not bad, but not ideal.

This year through Promoting Better Lives project activities, RDA began working with Touch and supported him to irrigate his garden and also to expand his vegetable varieties with new seeds. He also learned how to make natural compost and, in using it, Touch has been able to reduce his costs – by not buying expensive chemical fertilizer and pesticides – and has managed to double his semi-annual income from $125 to $250 for each planting, which is just enough to support his family. And, because safe water is such a high priority for CWS, RDA and all families, they received a water filter for the house, for which the family was also grateful as it has helped them lessen the children’s risk of becoming sick from unclean, unsafe water. (For more information please contact sophal@cwscambodia.org )

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