Noun Rany, who is 29 years old, lives in Tumpung Cheung village in western Cambodia with her rice farmer husband, Hing Ryna, who is 33 and their two daughters, who are 9 and 2. Rany joined CWS-supported development activities in late 2016 to help her family improves its situation, and now she is very active and passionate in contributing to her community. With her literacy level and commitment, she was named as WASH Focal Person for Tumpung Cheung, and she is also a Self-Help (savings) Group Committee member. So, she is active in health promotion for the whole village and in group facilitation and record keeping for her savings group.
Rany told us that most Tumpung Cheung villagers are illiterate, and lack information, awareness and knowledge about the importance of clean water, good sanitation, proper hygiene and basic health. Also, 95% of village families are supported by daily wage labor, which makes for unreliable and limited income. With such limited financial and social capital, families also have few options to cope with livelihood, health and other shocks to their wellbeing.
As a hopeful change agent in her community, Rany recently told one CWS team member, “I want to see all villagers have better living conditions; especially I want all the women to have a better understanding of good health and hygiene.” Fortunately, in her role as a WASH Focal Person, Rany can help her neighbors learn about safe water, water-borne and other diseases – both transmission and prevention, and about the importance of sanitary latrines and personal and household hygiene. “I notice that people now have a better understanding than before and they protect their health by drinking filtered water, washing their hands properly and using a sanitary latrine.”
Rany was also very interested in joining and promoting Self-Help Group membership because she saw so many of her neighbors goingto moneylenders who charge very high interest rates that burden for poor families. And, sometimes they could not even get a loan at any cost because they don’t have asset for collateral. So, Rany initiatedformation of a saving group in Tumpung Cheungwith 14 women and 7 men. Talking about her role in this regard, Rany says, “I am so happy and enjoying my work, which gives me an opportunity to help my community!”
From the view of CWS staff, Rany is a real inspiration and role model, with whom we are fortunate and proud to partner for the good of Cambodia.
(For more information please contact MSophal@cwsglobal.org )