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

Doing Well by Doing Good: A Mason’s Story

CWS Myanmar | May 26, 2019

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 […]

A Savings and Loan Group Leader Takes Pride in the Group’s Success

CWS Indonesia | March 29, 2019

Bilau is like many rural communities in West Timor. Here, families have simple lives. They make do by farming, for subsistence and income, as their families have done for generations. They do so even though their land is arid and there is no reliable water supply. This makes growing enough extra vegetables to sell for […]

Using Local Resources to Improve Livelihoods and Build Resilience and Diversification

CWS Indonesia | March 28, 2019

Buttu Tasik, his wife and four children live in a village in South Sulawesi. They, like many rural Indonesian families, raise pigs for income while continuing to learn how to adapt their farming for climate change. “Changes in the weather here are quite extreme and we have not yet been able to [fully cope] with […]

Changing Habits for Better Health and Nutrition

CWS Timor-Leste |

Garianah and Lebucaileti are two small villages high in the mountains of northwest Timor-Leste. Most families in these villages have two homes. One “house”, which is more of a shack, is near the family fields outside of the village. It is where they live during corn-growing season from December to May. The other house is […]

Seeds of Hope in Rural Timor-Leste

CWS Timor-Leste | March 7, 2019

Paulinho Martinez, like most of his neighbors in Gariana, makes a living from the land by farming and raising animals. For the past year, Paulinho and CWS have been working together to help families within his community to work smarter in order to improve the quality of their lives. In talking to CWS team members […]

With my producer group’s support, I can grow even more vegetables to sell in the future

CWS Cambodia |

Chum Khoeun, who is 55, live with his wife Neang Nim, 59, and their three children in Boeng Popoul village in Battambang province, western Cambodia. His family’s main income is from the rice they grow on their 3 hectare (7-acre) farm. However, the lack of water means the family can never plant and harvest enough […]

From Fritters to Financial Freedom

CWS Indonesia |

Thirty-five-year-old Yuniarti A. Nabuasa – Ani, for short – is a community health volunteer, farmer and entrepreneur in Oebaki, where she lives with her husband and three children. A number of years ago, Ani started selling pisang goreng, which is a popular Indonesia snack similar to American banana fritters. In fact, these fritters are so […]

The Resilience of Suriati Roro

CWS Indonesia | March 6, 2019

In villages throughout rural Indonesia, starting and maintain a family business, even if it’s a small or micro one, is a challenge. One reason for this is that loans for start-up or expansion, come at quite a hefty cost. In talking to CWS staff about her benefits from joining neighbors and friends in the DREAM […]

CWS Helped the Families in Lebucaileti Start Helping Themselves

CWS Timor-Leste | January 21, 2019

Lebucaileti is a small community high in the mountains of Timor-Leste, where living conditions are extremely hard. Most of the time, there is limited water, and during the dry season (July to December), there is almost none, which makes farming – which is most families’ main livelihood and household food source – extremely difficult. During […]

Living the Dream

CWS Indonesia |

Mawar savings and loan group formed as part of DREAM, which is a community development program led by CWS with funding from the Australian government though our partner, Act for Peace. The core focus in DREAM is disaster resilience, and one proven key to disaster resilience is economic security and resilience. So, the women who […]

Farmers Group Grows with Gusto – and Gusti!

CWS Indonesia | January 20, 2019

With 33-year-old farmer Gusti Koa as its new leader, Fetomone farmers group in Fatutnana, West Timor, is growing and changing. Gusti and his wife are farmers in area near Fatutnana, and the group he now leads was formed by 11 farmers in their hamlet in February 2016. At that time, there was support from government […]

A Community Leader Does Well While Also Doing Good

CWS Cambodia |

A year ago, Sek Sok, who is 66 and a retired soldier, was elected to the Morokot Commune Council in Choam Ksant District in northern Cambodia, where he lives with his wife Sam Pho, who is 63, and their 16-year-old son, who is in Grade 11. Because he agreed to stay permanently in the area […]

CWS-supported Home Garden Producer Groups Expand Their Market Reach

CWS Cambodia | January 19, 2019

Recently, our CWS partner for Promoting Better Lives, the Rural Development Association, was invited by the Battambang Provincial Department of Agriculture to bring farmers and their products to a two-day, government-organized Safe Vegetable Exhibition, which had two main aims: first, to raise awareness about safe agricultural practice and second, to create demand for safe vegetables, […]

Afonsos Has a Lot to Share!

CWS Timor-Leste | December 27, 2018

Alfonso Riberio dos Santos is 35 and his wife Filomena Dos Santos da Cruz is 32; they have two young children, ages two and four and they live in Maumeta village. Many families in this village are poor subsistence farmers. Afonsos and his family were prioritized in their community to join Timor Zero Hunger activities […]

There Is a Lot of Information and Wisdom in the Community

CWS Timor-Leste | December 26, 2018

Leandro Oliveira and his family live in Maumetalau hamlet in Liquiçá district where, like most of their neighbors, he and his wife Angelita Vidigal depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Life has been hard for the family in the past when they earned only about $5 a week selling cassava and vegetables. And even that […]

My Family’s Situation Is Getting Better

CWS Cambodia |

Duch Mein is 44 years old and he is married to Un Phun, who is 47, and with whom he has four children. The family lives in Tumpung Cheung village, Battambang province western Cambodia, where the family’s staple food – which is never enough for a full year – comes from farming on a half-hectare […]

Rice Banks: An Invaluable Resource for Many Rural Cambodians

CWS Cambodia | November 28, 2018

Proeung Moeuk, who is 17, lives with his four siblings, who are 21, 14, 12 and 7, in Boeng Popoul village in Battambang province of western Cambodia. Tragically, they are orphans because their parents both died of illnesses in 2014 and 2016. While his two younger sisters and brother attend primary school, Moeuk quit school […]

New Ideas and Farming Practices Take Hold in Timor-Leste

CWS Timor-Leste | November 27, 2018

About 35 kilometers from Dili, Timor-Leste, up a winding dirt road lined with banana trees, lives a uniquely blonde-haired 5-year-old girl, Beatrice who enjoys playing with her older siblings and cousins, and following her mother around the house, “helping” her mom with chores. Juliana da Silva Gonçalves, Beatrice’s mother, is a fairly typical Lebucaileti village […]

Alongside Her Vegetables, Chreb’s Success, and Family, Grow!

CWS Cambodia |

Chho Chreb is 24 and she lives with her husband Ros Pum, who is 32, and their five-year-old son in Sangkum Thmei village of Preah Vihear province, in northern Cambodia. Chreb and Pum are farmers who own just once hectare (100 square meters) of land on which they used to grow rice, mostly, which yielded […]

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