CWS Asia


Livelihoods

cambodia_chhundy-with-her-winter-melon

Chhundy (Cambodia) with her winter melon. Photo: CWS

Victor (in Timor-Leste) works with a family to set up their tomato plants. Photo: CWS

In Indonesia a family who started with very little were given three chickens and now have 20. Photo: Ryan Shanley

CWS believes in the ability of communities to work together to realize local development and sustainable livelihoods. By combining the right resources and knowledge with intentional grassroots ownership, we empower communities to decide their own futures and create more choices for themselves and their children.

The long-term sustainability of projects rests with the people – and especially with women. Therefore, livelihood projects are designed and implemented with as much focus on participatory training and empowerment as on distributions and tools. CWS aims to help communities tap into the resources they already have and build upon the knowledge and capacities that already exist.

Countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Timor-Leste

Latest News

Back in Business: CWS Cash Transfer Initiative Helps Nurmita Return to Work

CWS Indonesia | July 2, 2020

Nurmita lives in a Central Sulawesi village where, before a devastating earthquake in 2018, she sold traditional cakes to earn a nice income. In the disaster Nurmita lost her baking equipment and supplies … and her livelihood. Her situation was not uncommon, unfortunately. And it has taken quite some time for people to recover and […]

CWS Grassroots Development Work with Families and Communities Continues

CWS Myanmar | April 19, 2020

Things are a bit business unusual for CWS these days, as they are for much of the world. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is slowing us down and causing us to reschedule larger group activities. These include Community-led Total Sanitation start-up events and cross-community sharing and learning field trips. But, in most rural areas where CWS […]

Vocational Training Opportunities Offered for Women in Myanmar

CWS Myanmar | January 20, 2020

CWS and the YMCA of Maubin Township in Myanmar recently launched a vocational education and training pilot for 20 women who will learn how to sew over the course of eight weeks with 270 hours in the workshop. Already during their first week, students reviewed manual sewing machine parts: switches, levers, pedals, etc. to learn […]

Paths out of Poverty in Myanmar: Haircuts, Textiles, Rice and More

Marvin Pannell | January 6, 2020

You may have heard about CWS and the ACT Alliance before. ACT is a coalition of churches and faith-based organizations that work in countries all over the world. It’s a platform for its members, including CWS, to coordinate our programs to be as efficient and effective as possible. To that end, many countries, including Myanmar, […]

Starting with Rice: Making Sure There Is ‘Enough for All’ in One Cambodian Family

CWS Cambodia | December 31, 2019

Bou Doeun, who is 46 years old, lives with her husband and their eight young children in Boeng Ahrak village of Battambang province in western Cambodia. Besides being an exceptionally large family, even by rural Cambodian standards, this family is landless. With help from local government and the Buddhis community pagoda, they built a small […]

Empowering Emiliani

CWS Indonesia | December 30, 2019

Emiliani is a 44-year-old housewife, mother and farmer from Balombong village. In 2018, Emiliani joined KSPP Anggrek, a women-run savings and loan group. Anggrek is supported by the CWS Disaster Risk Reduction through Enhanced Adaptive Measures (DREAM) project, which helps families build their resilience. One way DREAM works is by supporting women farmers to organize […]

Growing in Groups

CWS Timor-Leste | November 27, 2019

Before joining Timor Zero Hunger activities with CWS, 33-year-old Julio de Jesus liked to joke that he only planted weeds in his garden. “I didn’t know how to plant vegetables properly, nor was I in a farmers group”, he said. But after he joined a simple ag information and skill-building session, Julio learned how to […]

Shared Pride in Promoting Better Lives in Rural Cambodia!

CWS Cambodia |

Em Kimsour, is 38; her husband, Ros Samnang, is 41, and their four children are aged four to 13. They live in Choam Ksant village in northern Cambodia, where they are subsistence farmers. Though the family is poor, the older children are lucky enough to attend school – even though it has been a struggle […]

Easier Access to Water Brings Opportunities for a Brighter Future

CWS Timor-Leste | November 26, 2019

Last month CWS celebrated a new water system’s inauguration in a small rural village in Timor-Leste. This celebration was not just about easier access to water, but opportunities for a better future. Through information sharing, monthly monitoring and technical support, 25 family farm plots and two communal gardens have been cultivated using improved inputs, techniques […]

Growing Appreciation for the Value of Growing Produce Together

CWS Cambodia | October 27, 2019

In August, 12 women and 7 men who are community leaders and Commune Council members in provinces where CWS works with agriculture Producer Groups in Cambodia joined a three-part training course about Group Business Management and Market Development. The course was organized by CWS and facilitated by the ACT Cambodia Forum Agricultural Markets Coordinator for […]

Em[POWER]ment in Knowledge

CWS Indonesia |

Adela Missa, a 26-year-old housewife and mother of one, lives in a small village in West Timor in far southeast Indonesia. About five years ago, Adela decided to contribute to her family’s income by weaving shawls and blankets to sell. Unfortunately, she was not as successful as she hoped. This was mostly because she did […]

Delegates for Community Development

CWS Timor-Leste | October 26, 2019

Afanso de Jesus is a village Delegate in a small mountain community in Liquisa, Timor-Leste. As such, he is a go-between for his fellow villagers and their leaders. He shares information, moderates and facilitates conversations and … troubleshoots problems. For this efforts, Afanso receives about $60 semi-annually. Clearly this is not enough income to live […]

The DREAM of a Business becomes a Resilient Reality

CWS Indonesia |

Surianti Makamban is a hard-working woman in a rural mountain village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In the past, Surianti and her family relied on small rice and cocoa fields’ produce to support themselves. But their harvests were never enough to meet their basic needs. Ibu Sari, a community leader in the village, noticed how Surianti’s […]

One Cambodian Family’s Gratitude for Small Gains

CWS Cambodia | October 25, 2019

Yos Sokny is 40 and lives with her husband, Phon Daoy, 44, and their three children, ages four to 17, in a western Cambodian village. The family does not own land. So, they live on public land alongside railroad tracks in a very vulnerable situation. To live they rely mostly on Daoy’s income from being […]

What a Difference a Loan Makes!

CWS Myanmar | October 3, 2019

Widower U Htein Win and his four young children used to live on 3,000 Kyat (about $2) a day. After securing a low-interest loan to buy shrimp traps to grow his fishing business, he now makes at least 5,000 Kyat ($3.33) daily. Sometimes, it’s double from the past. What’s more, he has some savings at […]

Seasons of Change

CWS Timor-Leste |

Brigita Maria Kefi is a 35-year-old mother of three girls, all under the age of 10. She, her husband and daughters live in simple straw house in Maumetalao, which is a coastal village near the Banda Sea, which defines the north coast of Timor-Leste. For the past several years, changing weather, especially drought, has greatly […]

There’s No Place Like Home

CWS Cambodia |

Prom Bunthoeun is 52 years old, and he and his wife, Yorn Sarem, who is 48, have three children ages 17 to 23. The family’s village is called Nikom Kandal, and it is in Battambang province in western Cambodia near the border with Thailand. In the past, the family’s income was from daily wage labor […]

Elsi Is Leading Other DREAM-ers to Succeed

CWS Indonesia | October 2, 2019

Because of its valley location, Rano, which is in South Sulawesi, Indonesia has temperatures that are hotter than other Tanja Toraja villages. This location means families there experience harsher drought most of the year when it doesn’t rain in the area. Harsher still are landslides that come along with the rains. In late 2016, deadly […]

Growing groups, Growing vegetables

CWS Indonesia |

The Oe’ayo farmer group started almost by accident when a plot of land donated to a church youth group by Welmince Kase and her husband was left fallow. So, after a year of the youth’s inactivity, Welmince decided on another idea for her land. Knowing that she would have help from CWS, she invited nine […]

U Aung Myint’s Journey

CWS Myanmar | August 27, 2019

This story tells U Aung Myint’s journey, on which CWS has accompanied him since we met him in 2015 when his village, Auk Htone, was flooded and CWS gave material support to families who needed help. Since then, when we first met U Aung, he has been an active community member. He has been the […]

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