Meet Soy. She and her husband are responsible for 10 family members, including her elderly mother, five children and four orphaned nieces and nephews.
Only three of her family members are in the position to work. Soy works as a masseuse in her village, her husband is a builder and her eldest son is a waiter. As COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Siem Reap’s tourism industry, significantly affecting the economy, both Soy and her husband couldn’t find regular work and her son was laid off, only to be re-hired on a reduced salary.
In order to survive, Soy borrowed money from her relatives and she and her husband began collecting recycled bottles to resell for just a few cents per kilogram. Our program partner, HHA Cambodia, provided Soy’s family with an emergency food package consisting of rice, eggs, noodles and tinned fish. They told Soy about the newly established Home Food Garden Project, and Soy was eager to participate so she could establish food security for her large family.
Soy attended six hours of training at HHA Cambodia, learning basic gardening skills, hygiene practices and environmental protection. Once she completed the training, Soy was provided with seeds, fertiliser and other materials to establish a food garden at her home, which her whole family can help to nurture. Soy says:
“I am really happy to join the home food garden project because it will help me to have vegetables to eat and I can also earn some income from selling. I am going to grow five types of vegetables – morning glory, cabbage, wax gourd, pumpkin and bitter melon. I really enjoyed the training because I have gained new knowledge and techniques on growing. I never thought that I could grow many vegetables on my land because it is small, but after training I understand that I can grow using recycled boxes and vegetable beds. I would like to say thank you so much to the donors who supported me through this program. It will help my family a lot.”