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.
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.
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.