Phan Oeun is now 46 and has been a CWS partner for more than a decade from her home in northern Cambodia, where she lives with her husband, You Ron, 52, and their two grown children who were middle school age when the family first met CWS. Now Ron is a Village Livestock Agent and farmer along with the children, who are 20 and 23.
Oeun was first involved with CWS development activities in 2007 when the family was in a far worse financial situation than they are now. Their poverty and hunger led Oeun to join other women to learn how to improve her family’s wellbeing by improving on what she already knew best: home-based gardening. From the start, Oeun recalls, she was very active in putting the knowledge and skills she developed through CWS activities into practice and she has been very success in her vegetable-growing and selling business, to say the least, since then.
After 10 years, Oeun proudly told us, “I am so success in my business now [and I have come far from where] I started with a small vegetable garden surrounding my home with the hope to have enough for my family to eat.” Now, Oeun continues, “With support from my husband and my two children I expanded to a 1,000 m2 garden and grow a variety of vegetable all year round. I have vegetables to sell every day and I make about 350,000 Khmer riel ($87) each week!”
In sharing her success, Oeun also reminded some Cambodia team members of this fact, “Before becoming a CWS partner family, we relied on rice farming for our living and often we did not have enough to eat [and certainly no surplus to sell for other food]. My family now has enough food year-round, and I even saved money to renovated and expand my house and to buy four hectares (10 acres) of land to grow rice and cassava, which I can sell for 10 million Riel ($2,500) per year!”. In ending her story, Oeun added, “I could not be successful like I am today without support from my husband and children … and CWS. I am very grateful and thank CWS so much for their start-up and ongoing technical support and guidance.”
(For more information please contact MSophal@cwsglobal.org )