Sok Yan, 46, lives with her husband, Or Sereivuth, 47, and four children ages 25, 16, 14 and 4 in Rung Roeung 3 village in northern Cambodia. When she met CWS team members in 2006, Yan earned a living by selling vegetables from her garden while Sereivuth was a welder, which did not pay a lot. Having had the chance to participate with CWS in community development activities more than a decade ago, Yan learned about mushroom spore production back in 2006 and she started to grow mushrooms then. Since then Yan has stayed active in using the information and skills she learned long ago, and she has learned even more from her own experience to successfully expanded her mushroom business. In the process, over time, she has turned her family’s life around. Yan proudly told us recently, “From knowing nothing, I am now successfully running my mushroom business and I have shared my knowledge with my daughter and my husband – so both are helping me with the business. My family now has enough food for all year round and we have some savings, too.”
Now, through CWS efforts to ensure the sustainability of years of investment, and because of Yan’s initiative and commitment, she has become a peer educator/trainer who actively and effectively shares her practical knowledge and skills in mushroom growing with others. To improve productivity, she teaches others how to make compost and care for their mushroom spores for sustainable harvesting over time.
In ending our good conversation with her, CWS staff were happy and proud to hear this testimony to our commitment to Promoting Better Lives in Rural Cambodia: “I now earn between $50 and $70 per week selling fresh mushrooms and my mushroom spores, and from the extra income I earn being an educator/trainer. This is so completely different from 10 years ago when my family relied mostly on my husband’s small wage from being a welder. In those years we often didn’t have enough to eat! That seems so long ago now, and I am so thankful to CWS for all the support through the years, and now using my talents and knowledge to help others learn – and get out of poverty. I am especially hopeful that others will develop the skills that enabled me to have my mushroom business so they, like me, can earn income to support their families like I help support mine.”
(For more information please contact MSophal@cwsglobal.org )