Free to dream

StarKids helps Sokha grow her business and meet her children’s needs.

Singer, technician, police officer, teacher. Sokha’s children have big dreams for their future.

Thanks to a project funded by StarKids in Cambodia, Sokha can now support them to follow these dreams.

Sokha and her husband are raising five children – one son, two nieces, a nephew and one grandchild. “They’ve lived with me since they were babies,” she explained. “I love them [all] as my children.”

On a meagre income from chicken farming and her husband’s taxi driving, however, meeting the children’s needs was a constant struggle.

The Sustainable Business Development Project supports small business owners like Sokha, providing them with skills training, business know-how and access to finance so they can increase their incomes in the long term.

Through this project Sokha’s learned how to “take care of chickens, produce vaccines to protect them from disease, vaccinate them and feed them with good food”.

With these new skills she can now breed healthier chickens and produce more eggs to both feed her family and sell in the marketplace.

Sokha’s also joined a community savings group supported by the project. Group members pool their savings, which they can then access as low interest loans to support their business or cover household expenses.

“I’ve had four loans already,” Sokha continued. “In this way, I can increase my income. I’ve used the loans from the savings group to buy chicken feed and things for school for the children.”

With the support of Jetstar customers who’ve donated to StarKids, this project is enabling thousands of farming families like Sokha’s across Cambodia to change their lives.

This project is also supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Image caption: Sokha and her husband are raising five children from their extended family