Thanks to you and your support of our WEE BOX, BIG CHANGE UK Aid Match appeal in 2018, the lives of almost 47,000 people have been transformed in some of the poorest parts of rural Cambodia.
The appeal ran during Lent 2018 and raised more than £3.1m, including £1.5m of match funding from the UK government. The matched funds were used to run a three-year project in Cambodia, from 2018-2021.
Today, the families we worked with have more money, more food, more water and more dignity. Lives have been changed and the future is bright.
The vast majority of people in Cambodia live in poverty, with nearly 75% earning less than $3 per day. In Stung Treng and Kampong Thom, some of the poorest provinces in the country, many families do not have enough food to eat, or clean water to drink.
In these rural areas, most people farm to survive. Those who have their own land grow rice, cassava, and vegetables. Those without land rely on communal areas for cattle-rearing, chickens, gathering products from forests, and fishing the rivers of the Mekong Delta.
schoolchildren can access handwashing facilities
households have access to clean bottled water
women empowered by gender awareness meetings
Over the course of the project we worked directly with more than 8,500 people, of which 57% were women, and provided a hand-up to more than 38,000 family and community members.
Today, families in the project areas are able to access clean toilets, and schools have received new handwashing facilities and instructions on good hygiene. As well as this, local people no longer need to boil groundwater for drinking – instead, they can purchase affordable 20-litre bottles of clean, safe water from new community-owned water stations which were installed as part of the programme.
Protecting natural resources
One of the key successes of our work here was helping to legally protect over 5,000 hectares of community land, and enabling local people to develop plans for the continued conservation of the environment with the support of local authorities. Communities carry out patrols to prevent illegal hunting, fishing, and deforestation. In a world impacted by climate change, this represents one of the best ways to make the future safer for local people.
To increase the production of staples such as rice and cassava, as well as vegetable crops, we also offered the gift of animals and helped create small vegetable gardens near to people’s homes. Improved fish catches were supported through specialist training and by helping families purchase better equipment.
In rural parts of Cambodia, women are often marginalised and unable to access the same opportunities as men – they have little influence on how their community is run, and remain burdened with the toughest workloads.
Throughout the course of the project, we organised and promoted hundreds of meetings in the community focusing on women’s rights and equality, so that issues such as domestic abuse and gender law could be discussed in safe, secure and informed settings. More than 2,600 women told SCIAF that they felt empowered by this initiative.
Supported by the UK government