Mrs. Chab Heang, who is 61, lives in Ballangk Kroam village central Cambodia with her son Kriya, who is 30. Heang and her husband, who was the family’s main income earner, divorced some years ago so now Heang and her son work as wage laborers planting, and then harvesting, corn and potatoes on their neighbor’s farms earning up to $10 a day. But this is only during planting and harvesting months, which are only a few. To add to their earnings, Heang also sells vegetables from her home garden any may earn as much as $5 or $6 a day. But, as with large scale farming, this earning is seasonal, so for many days of the year, Heang and Kriya earn nothing. Needless to say, this makes it hard, if not impossible, for Heang and her son to save any money, or even improve their small wooden home, which no running water or a toilet – not even an outside latrine.
Through outreach work among some of Cambodia’s poorest rural families, one CWS partner, Rural Development Association, met Heang in late 2016 and she became a CWS Household Partner which, to start, gave her a chance to work with RDA and local government to build a safe, sanitary latrine. As a Household Partner Heang also had access to information and education about better personal hygiene and water safety; and, importantly, about joining a savings group, which has helped her continues improving her life, and Kriya’s too.
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