Horn Sophea is 37 and he lives with his wife, Bet Thi, and their two children in Char village of Kampong Thom province in central Cambodia. Sophea was selected by his neighbors to be a Village Development Committee member in 2013. Three years on, he is happy to say, “In July this year, I became a water-sanitation-hygiene (WASH) focal person in my village and I was happy to join a CWS-hosted workshop about WASH promotion. Through the workshop and regular reflection meetings with others, I have gained knowledge to educate my people about disease transmission and blocking routes and also low-cost latrine design and household water treatment options.”
Sophea spoke with special energy about having learned good hygiene practice and the negative impacts of open defecation, especially on women’s and children’s health. “I now feel the need to have a latrine for my family and to encourage others to have one, too,” Sophea said, then quickly following up with, “To be an effective change agent, I first built a latrine for my own family to show others the benefit”. After they understood and realized the importance of having a safe, sanitary latrine, 13 families volunteered to build them too … and the number is increasing every month. “I am so thankful to CWS for the information, chance to improve my knowledge and for ongoing coaching. I am now confident to lead awareness-raising sessions to share my knowledge and to keeping encouraging other families in my village to practice good hygienic behavior”.