CWS Asia



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

Growing groups, Growing vegetables

CWS Indonesia | October 2, 2019

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 […]

Empowering Ety

CWS Indonesia |

As one CWS approach to sustainable economic development for women in West Timor, Berdaya, which means empowerment in Indonesian, supports women in a few ways, including support to organize and lead their own savings and loans groups. Woman, in turn, support each other as they start and grow small businesses, make profits, save … and […]

“We are no longer worried about not having enough food to eat”.

CWS Cambodia |

Promoting Better Lives partner, Rural Development Association, works with families and communities by helping them know how to improve their diets to be more nutritious, especially for young children. And, they have helped families work to earn extra income by selling their surplus home-grown produce, eggs and fish so they can further improve their diets […]

New Skills Help Revive Timor Weaving Traditions and Raise Women’s Earning in the Bargain

CWS Indonesia | August 26, 2019

Deni Seteria Saufeto is a jack-of-all-trades in her West Timor village. Besides taking care of her children and home, Mama Deni earns money weaving textiles as her mother taught her. For years, she had successfully sold shawls and blankets to family or friends. But, many other women in her village also weave, so competition for […]

Turning Loans into Savings

CWS Indonesia |

Reni Sattu and her family live in a rural village about 25 miles from the nearest town. Among other services she has no access to, safe banking is one. And, as she learned when she approached a bank in a bigger city, she could not borrow money from them anyway because her husband’s income barely […]

From Small Actions to Big DREAMS

CWS Indonesia |

In October 2016, a landslide destroyed houses and farmland in Lembang Rano, which is a small, mountainous village in southern Tana Toraja, Indonesia. CWS was already working with communities there, and so partnered with the district Disaster Management Agency to strengthen its disaster response. Then, after the community’s recovery from the disaster, CWS staff and […]

Moving from Success to Success: One Man’s Journey to Success and Gratitude

CWS Cambodia |

Last May (2018) the CWS Cambodia team proudly shared Ven’s story with friends and colleagues worldwide: Thanks to his early involvement with CWS, starting in 2007, Ven was an active participant and supporter of development activities in his village. With his knowledge, commitment and hard work, in addition to becoming a successful businessman, Ven was […]

Instilling Savings Habits a Little at a Time

CWS Myanmar | July 31, 2019

Parents of five children ages four to 16, Ko Tun Tun Win and his wife Ma Tin Tin Htay work hard to make ends meet. Ko Tun Tun owns a small boat that he uses to ferry one to three people at a time, around his communities’ waterways, and Ma Tin Tin sells betel nut, […]

From “Not Having Enough” To “Having More Than Enough”

CWS Cambodia |

Vann Rin and his wife, Khoeun Norn are both 33 and their two daughters are 6 years old and 18 months old. Rin’s elderly mother lives with them in Boeung Popul village in western Cambodia. Like countless rural Cambodian families, their main food sources, and some income, is from rice farming. Rin farms two hectares […]

Drip, Drip, Drip (Irrigation): Better Diets and More Produce to Sell in Op Village

CWS Indonesia |

Susana Tefa is a poor farmer in Op village, West Timor. Like countless others in Op and nearby villages, she and her husband are always looking for ways to improve their lives and livelihoods. So, Susana was glad for the opportunity to join CWS-led Timor Zero Hunger project activities, which are open to all who […]

Planning + a Small Loan + Patience = a Difference!

CWS Myanmar | June 17, 2019

In 2017, Ma Ei Chaw and her day laborer husband took a 130,000 Kyat loan from a CWS-initiated community development fund. Their goal was to improve their two young sons’ nutrition, which has assessed to be quite poor. Surprised by this, Ma Ei Chaw was determined to change things – and she did! First, the […]

Small Things Add Up to a Lot

CWS Indonesia | June 16, 2019

Dina Datu and her husband Lukas live in the mountains of northern South Sulawesi. They spend most of their time working in their family’s rice paddies: planting and harvesting for a share of profits. During the most recent harvest, Dina split her time between the family paddies and working others land for pay to add […]

New Knowledge Helps Families in Nartutu Work to Improve Their Lives

CWS Timor-Leste |

CWS has partnered with Victor da Costa for a year in his Timor-Leste village to help families improve their diets and lower young children’s malnutrition. A first step in this has been sharing modern farming practices, including better water use. Recently, when CWS hosted a three-day horticulture training workshop in Maumeta, Victor opened it with […]

Trading Up in Timor

CWS Timor-Leste | May 26, 2019

Leonito dos Santos da Silva lives in Caimegohou, a mountain community in rural Timor-Leste, where he supports his extended family of 11 by working the family farm. “I have always worried about how I will keep supporting my family”, says Leonito. “Until now, I have never gotten help to try to improve my life”. That […]

A Role Model Among Us

CWS Indonesia |

Mama Erni Liunokas is not “just Erni” is to her friends; she is their role model. Erni is a wife, mother of two young children and a small business owner with many accomplishments, including the opening of her first business in 2015. Four years ago, eager to improve her family’s wellbeing, she started selling her […]

Enough for All

CWS Cambodia |

Len Kimlean is 49 and her husband Saing Phally is 55. With their two sons, who are 30 and 14, they live in a northern Cambodian village in Preah Vihear province. When CWS first met this family just two years ago, they were extremely poor farmers. Sometimes, they did not have enough food to eat, […]

Learning by Doing: Building New Skills to Help Schools Be Safer and Cleaner

CWS Vietnam |

By Tran Van Thang, CWS Vietnam Project Officer. In my recent activity monitoring visit to the Phuc Than commune kindergarten in northern Vietnam, I had a chance to inspect the school’s clean, smoke-free kitchen – thanks to a new stove, which a great improvement on the dirty, inefficient and polluting old stove. It was good […]

Doing Well by Doing Good: A Mason’s Story

CWS Myanmar |

U Aung Kyaw Moe lives in Yae Le Gyi village, which is in southwest Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady River delta. Like many poor Myanmar citizens, U Moe works several jobs to make ends meets. Sometimes he works as a mason and a carpenter; other times he is a hairdresser! He supports his family of four on an […]

Ma Zaw Works to Improve Her Family’s Wellbeing One Step at a Time

CWS Myanmar | April 2, 2019

“My name is Ei Moor Zaw. I am 24 years old and I live in Sit Kone village, which is a few hours’ drive west of our commercial and historical capital, Yangon. My husband, Pyone Min Paing, and I have a 4-year-old son, Mg Hla Yaung Lin. We own and work 1.5 acres of corn […]

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