Home-grown organic garden

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Home-grown organic garden

Cambodia
Organization type: 
for profit
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Home gardening increases the diversity of foods available to households, which in turn leads to better overall utilization of nutrients, including calories. Vegetables and fruits often make other foods more palatable and can lead to an overall increased food intake.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Cambodia is a least-developed, low-income food deficit country emerging from decades of civil conflict and economic stagnation. According to the new international poverty line set by World Bank – US$1.25-a-day, 42 percent of Cambodians live in extreme poverty. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2008 Global Hunger Index also lists Cambodia as one of the 33 countries having an “alarming or extremely alarming” level of hunger.
About You
Organization:
Sao Sary Foundation
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Vichetr

Last Name

Uon

Organization

Sao Sary Foundation

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Sao Sary Foundation

Organization Phone

+85525987196

Organization Address

#181, group 5, Peanicha Kam,Rokha Thom, Chba Morn City, Kampong Speu province, Cambodia

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

There are many NGOs and other aid groups that focus on helping people who have been victimized by human trafficking and sexual exploitation, SSF is special in the fact that it seeks to identify children at high risk for being trafficked in order to prevent them from being exploited in the first place.
SSF treats each family as a special case. Providing both technical assistance and start up capital, the organization helps families to either use the skills they already have or teaches them new skills they can use in order to help find ways to reduce their level of poverty and raise their standard of living. Key aspects of SSF’s Livelihood Program include support for their children, work planning/goal setting, financial grants, and continued technical assistance, all of which are regularly monitored through evaluation mechanisms.
With each family selected for support, the goal is that by the second year they are able to support their own children’s education, however if it is not possible, SSF continues to sponsor the child’s educational needs. Providing them with other ways to earn money has been an important factor in preventing poor families from pressuring their children, especially underage girls, to dropout of school and get jobs using forged paperwork to circumvent child labor laws.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

Phim Dy Family: Mother, Father, 3 Daughters, 3 Sons. When SSF first visited the Phim Dy family, there were eight people living together in a small house with a dirt floor and roof that did not keep out water. There were no beds and everyone was forced to sleep on a muddy floor when it rained. None of the children were in school. Instead they would work seasonally wherever it was possible. Because the father had an ongoing health condition, the mother single-handedly supported her entire family. Seeing this in September 2006, SSF presented the family the idea of growing morning glory, a vegetable sold throughout Cambodian markets. This popular culinary green vegetable was not traditionally grown in the family’s village, thus they were hesitant to begin such a garden. The family was taught how to grow the morning glory and given 5kg of morning glory seeds which were planted on another family’s land that allowed them to do so. The family was also provided with bicycles so they could take the morning glory to the market and sell it themselves. The morning glory business has flourished and the family now harvests and makes approximately US $50 every two weeks. This has enabled the family not only to eat, but has also given them the ability to save money. Because of the work done and the money saved, in November 2008 the family built a new, larger house with an adequate roof.
Two of the children, a boy and a girl, are currently back in school. Since the older children have never been enrolled in school, they are not allowed to enroll at a regular school, due to age limits for the grades they would have to enter. SSF is searching to find an informal school that will accept them as students, in order to bridge their educational gap so they can attend formal school. SSF also plans to help the family expand its morning glory business to include rice production.

Actions

This project increases food security through an integrated approach that addresses availability and accessibility of food through increased production at the home level, and the utilization of food through training in food preparation and preservation. It also addresses the qualitative aspect by focusing on production and consumption of fresh vegetables to supplement
the diet of mainly cereals, meat and etc.

Results

Since 2006, SSF has been assisted poorest and the most vulnerable people in Kampong Spue, one amoing three poorest provinces, in reducing hunger and under nutrition. SSF’s social safety net activities currently reach over one hundred and fifty of the most vulnerable people through home vegetable gardens, self-help group activities, stabilizing important social safety nets and reducing the impact of economic shocks on the poor. SSF will continue addressing the short to medium-term food security needs of over one million Cambodians in 2009.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

As is stands, due to financial constraints previously mentioned, SSF is only able to benefit a fraction of the families it would like to provide assistance to. Consequently SSF can only support one-fifth of the youth it would like to assist. To truly be successful SSF would have to increase it’s budget by 750% from $43,868.24. Were this to happen, SSF would be able to reach 750 families, instead of less than 100, and 240 children, instead of 50.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Sao Sary Foundation had funding support from Riverkids, Groundwork Opportunities, Global Colors, and private donors. However, due to economic hardships SSF has not received any funding since August of 2009. At which time the executive director and founder, Mr. Vichetr Uon, had to rely on funds from his own personal bank account to see the project through. Unfortunately these finances are no longer available, as Mr. Uon no longer has the funds to provide. Because of this situation, Sao Sary Foundation collapsing is a very real and disastrous possibility.

How many people will your project serve annually?

101‐1000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

No

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

As is stands, due to financial constraints previously mentioned, SSF is only able to benefit a fraction of the families it would like to provide assistance to. Consequently SSF can only support one-fifth of the youth it would like to assist. To truly be successful SSF would have to increase it’s budget by 750% from $43,868.24. Were this to happen, SSF would be able to reach 750 families, instead of less than 100, and 240 children, instead of 50.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. Solicit for funding from donors,
2. Capacity building,
3. New routine creation: SSF’s New Routine is a method to switch target families from repeating low-income generating activities to unique, financially sustainable activities that can support the entire family. For example, currently one SSF target family has used the planting of morning glory, a vegetable crop, on one ridge and waiting for harvest before planting another, rather than successive plantings for continuous harvesting. Under SSF’s New Routine, they will become more productive through more frequent planting for daily harvesting.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

Cambodia is a least-developed, low-income food deficit country emerging from decades of civil conflict and economic stagnation. According to the new international poverty line set by World Bank – US$1.25-a-day, 42 percent of Cambodians live in extreme poverty. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 2008 Global Hunger Index also lists Cambodia as one of the 33 countries having an “alarming or extremely alarming” level of hunger.

The unexpected rise of food and fuel prices in 2008 had a big impact on programme implementation. A recent impact study on soaring food prices concluded that 1.7 million Cambodians experienced food insecurity as an effect of high food prices, and that this number was expected to increase to 2.8 million, a fifth of the population, during the next "lean season". The study also found that 98 percent of the poor have incurred new debts and half of them cut back on food consumption or referred to inferior foods as a coping mechanism.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Mr Vichetr Uon is the founder and Executive Director of SSF. He was born in a rural remote area of Takeo province in Cambodia. His father was shot dead anonymously during a humanitarian mission which led his family into a terrible situation. His sister and brother were forced to stop their primary education to keep him in school, while there was no money for the rest of the six siblings to attend. He was granted the opportunity of a lifetime to go to college, through the kindness and financial support of his foster brother. He graduated with a Science Degree from Norton University in Phnom Penh provided by a full-four year sponsorship from his Australian foster brother.
Mr. Uon is passionate about putting an end to the human trafficking of the vulnerable in Cambodia, starting from the poorest province, Kampong Speu. His philosophy is that in order to stop trafficking SSF must improve the livelihoods of the poorest in the community, thus removing any potential opportunity for the traffickers. He believes any organization must work with families on a long-term basis and utilize the strengths they have already acquired in their lifetime. This involves nursing existing talents such as baking and turning them into fledgling businesses that will provide income and security form families.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

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