Small loan, big changes

StarKids is supporting Cambodian families to transform their lives.

Life was not easy in Cambodia for Savy and Sreymach, and their children, Thavry, 5, and Thavreak, 8. “Before, we did not have enough money to buy food for our children,” explains their mother, Sreymach.

But thanks to the Agriculture Cooperative (AC) they belong to – supported through a StarKids funded World Vision economic development project – this family’s life has changed.

“After taking part in the AC group, we are able to support our children to have enough food, we have knowledge to work, and earn money to buy bicycles, books and pens for the children for school,” says Savy, Thavry and Thavreak’s father.

The AC group loans money to members at low interest, and the interest generated goes back to its members – which includes Savy. He used his loan to buy fertiliser, petrol and more pigs. In the next harvest, Savy doubled his rice yield. Not only did the AC provide the loan, but they also increased his understanding of how to grow rice. In addition to agricultural lessons, Savy also gained crucial parenting skills. The importance of educating his children was highlighted.

The Agriculture Cooperative’s leader Mr Soeurng Roat says, “Our AC’s vision is that we want to see children live with fullness of life, and for the community to spread knowledge and understanding about the importance of education.”

Savy’s family now benefits from education, nutrition and livelihood expertise. “Without the organisation [World Vision and StarKids] and AC, my living condition would be affected…I would not know about earning income and saving.”

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

Words: Craig Brown/World Vision

Photos: Chetra Ten/World Vision

Image caption: StarKids donations from Jetstar customers have helped give Thavry and Thavreak a brighter future