Duong Thoeun is a courageous woman. This Cambodian mother of three young children had the courage to try to something different, to say no to the “usual way” and now, with the help of her children, earns $7 a day from her cucumber harvest—pretty good money in rural Cambodia!
Working in a garment factory is a good source of income, but it’s also tedious work far from home. Many young Cambodian women living in rural areas leave to work in the garment industry. But when they return to their villages, they are faced with finding sustainable work that can support their families. Farming remains a good career option for those who return to rural areas, but learning agricultural techniques is challenging. Thary Kong is an example of how a young woman can return home and learn the skills she needs to have a successful farming career.
In Cambodia, the pull is strong for people to migrate from their rural communities to cities like Phnom Penh, and neighboring countries like Thailand, where jobs are available with a steady wage. Unable to earn a living wage in their communities, men and women leave their families to survive.
Although indigenous people make up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, they represent 15 percent of the poorest. August 9 marks the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration defends the rights of indigenous peoples, encouraging them to maintain their unique traditions and cultures, and promoting cooperation and harmony with the rest of the world.
Two years ago nine Rshi women from the Phialor cluster of villages wanted to help pregnant women in their villages. With the support of World Renew and their local partner in Laos, these women were trained as Traditional Birth Attendants. In addition to information about actual care for expectant mothers, the training was designed to overcome language and literacy barriers using creative, practical methods like videos, role playing, and picture lesson books.
In rural Cambodia, Kunthea Ros and her family often had diarrhea. The condition traveled from one member of her family to another in an unending cycle. Diarrhea reduced her son’s ability to attend school and to study. The 35-year-old mother spent many hours caring for her family, and took out loans to pay for medical care. In her home Kunthea had just one water jar. The same water scoop was used for bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and drinking by family members and their animals. The water was untreated. Like many other people in the village of Boenung Kratieh, Prey Veng province, Kunthea did not realize that her family’s unsafe water practices were contributing to their poor health.