Mr Nhel Toeurn, lives with his wife Rosnaram and three children, in Tasway village, Taken commune, Chhurk district in Kampot province, Cambodia. The village, with a population 690 people, is one of the target areas of COCD’s Integrated Rural Development Project. 186 families live there, including 11 with ID poor 1 cards, 10 with ID poor 2 cards, and 9 poor families without ID cards. This village is 70km from Kampot town and 50km from Chumkirri District ‘market town. The main occupation in the area is farming and agriculture, such as growing rice, growing vegetables, raising animals, fishing. Some families also run small businesses or work in construction.
Mr Nhel Toeurn is a poor farmer with an ID Poor 1 card. He and his wife work on a farm harvesting rice. Their oldest daughter Chhoeurn Phany is 14 years old and is in grade 5 and their second son Veal Kransaing primary school. Their oldest son, Chhoeurn Phanain is 11 years old and is in grade 3 at the same school. Their youngest son Chhoeurn Vanny is 3 years old and does not yet attend school, staying home with his parents.
His house is very small with no fence or walls, and it leaks when it rains. The house is unsafe for his daughter to live in, and she is at risk of harassment and sexual abuse from other community members.
The family received assistance from three programs under the Integrated Rural Development Program, including improvements to their houses, a bicycle to help their children travel to school, and a water well in their village.
Reflecting on his life before the program, Mr Nhel Toeurn, said “after moving away from his parents,
his life has become very difficult. Now we earn money through harvesting our neighbours farms and
construction work in our local village to buy food. After I left my parents my living conditions declined because I have no land to farm and I have young children to look after. One day, he didn’t have food, and he had to ask a neighbour for some rice. Even though we try our best, our living conditions are not improving.
Every day we worry about having enough food for our family. We also need to spend money on drinking water, which costs around $10 for half a month. If we don’t, we have to travel far to bring clean water home, and need to take the children to bathe which disrupts their schooling. Additionally, they sometimes have no choice but to use the unclean water from the lake which impacts their health, and there are a number of companies around the lake that pollute it with chemicals.”
Due to his living situation, COCD supported them with $340 USD to make improvements to their house, funded by HOLT International. During the program COCD, funded by BMZ, also provided a water well at their village. COCD also provided their daughter with a bicycle so that she can attend school, funded by Lotus Outreach International.
As a result, his family get sick less often due to the availability of clean water and they have less medical expenses. The children also have water to wash three times per day, and do not miss school due to travelling to get clean water.
“Without this support, I would still use unsafe water and our health would be poor. We no longer worry about our health as they had WASH training in their village and understand how to use to the clean
drinking water and how to boil the water before drinking. COCD staff have also focussed on the safety of their women including protecting them from abuse, by making improvements to their home.” “Now my living conditions have improved, my family is healthy and my daughter always goes to school on time. Her study results are good. Now I am confident in myself to continue my work, and have negotiated with my neighbour to rent some land to grow rice. I am now saving money to buy a piglet and a cow. If my livelihood improves, I will build a latrine for my family members to use. Finally, I want to thank COCD and all of the donors who support these programs, and I hope they will continue to support other poor families in Cambodia.”

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