Lutheran loos protect lives in Cambodia

In Cambodia, only one in 4 people has access to improved sanitation. Diarrhoea is a real threat - around the world a child dies of diarrhoea every 15 seconds. That’s why Lutheran Long Drop Loos are so important to families like Mrs Chean Lin’s …

When our Lutheran teams work in a community, plans can start at a household level. In the photo you see Mrs Chean Lin holding her family’s plan.

“From the Lutheran team I have received a $25 revolving loan. I am using this to buy chickens, and also nails to build a hen house. I will repay the loan when my chickens breed and I can sell them.

I also receive a watering can, kettle, axe and hoe, plus support to build the latrine.”

Hers is the first latrine in the village. Chean dug the pit, about 1.5 metres deep. Australian support helped provide concrete and materials. The walls of palm fronds are simply gathered from the forest, while the roof was given by a neighbour.

The Lutheran Long-Drop Loo helps protect Chean’s grandchildren from disease and diarrhoea, and has inspired many other people in the village to build loos too!

Action Idea:
Choose a Lutheran Long-Drop Loo so another family can protect their children from diarrhoea and disease. Just $65.

Country: Cambodia

Where: Aoral district, Kampong Speu province; Krovanh district, Pursat province; Battambong district, Battambong province; Phom Srouch district, Kampong Speu province; Thpong district, Kampong Speu province; Kampong Chhnang district, Kampong Chhnang province

What: Empowerment through Self Reliance Program (ESRP)

Partners: Life With Dignity (LWD), formerly LWF-Cambodia

Our Contribution: $1,040,000 in 2015/16 financial year (DFAT $809,119.38; ALWS $236,030.52)

Direct Beneficiaries: 34,551 people

Indirect Beneficiaries: 378,759 people

In Cambodia, you support development work primarily in the very poor Aoral and Krovanh districts. The project in these districts have an integrated and empowerment approach to development:

  • Integrated approach = all of the development activities work together. For example, rather than just a well being built, the project also makes sure that there is training in how to fix the pump if it breaks, training in good water and sanitation practices, and a road to get to the well! Just a well on its own isn’t so useful, particularly if it is placed in a location that benefits people with influence in the village or encourages damaging environmental impact.
  • Empowerment approach = the people in the villages are given the necessary training and support to make their own decisions about the development which happens in their village. This means that they then have ownership of and responsibility for everything that happens in their village. They develop the confidence to work their way out of poverty and can feel excited about creating their own future!

Some examples of the kind of activities which are taking place in Cambodia are:

  • Building of spillways or dams to help irrigate crops
  • Setting up and managing Village Banks, so people can take out a loan to help them get started in a small business
  • Training for Village Development Committees in order to equip them with the skills necessary to manage their own future development
  • Special support for Partner Households, the poorest households in the community, to enable them to work their way out of poverty
  • Establishing Village Rice banks which can help in the lean times
  • Training in Human Rights so people understand their rights and responsibilities, and can therefore solve disputes without conflict
  • Providing scholarships so the poorest families can afford to send children to school
  • Building and equipping of school classrooms
  • Building and equipping of Health posts
  • Construction of deep and shallow wells to ensure access to safe water for all communities
  • Construction of household latrines for families
  • Training in disaster preparedness
  • Training in environmentally friendly practices 

Many of the 55 villages in Aoral District have now graduated. They have assessed themselves as having achieved a level of development in the many aspects of daily life which results in their being able to take almost all responsibility for their own future. LWD staff still work with them but on a less intensive basis.

This is a story written for ALWS supporters - you -  from one the of the Cambodian staff.  We have left it in Van's words...

Opportunities living with help from Village Bank

Sorn Sophann 45 years old, a widow woman who living in small cottage at Tades village,  Samrong commune, district of Phnom Krovanh.

Cambodian lady

Tades village is located about 44 Km from Pursat from Purst town, 14 Km from Krovanh district. Sophann has 4 dauthers and two grand sons. All are living together in the small shelter with roof made from thatch.  Her family hardly lived because lack of food, poor health, no any income, she was hiring labour, or some time to the bush to find sub product from the forest to fulfil the stomach. ‘My life was terrible to live with five kids under my feeding.  My oldest daughter has no job, she helped me some times to find food from field such as crab and frog or fish. As I am poor no body borrowedm me the money, I want to do the business “ She said

LWD has facilitated the establishment of Village Bank with funding support from ALWS. She was encouraged to join in the village bank since 2009. “When I got loan for the first day I was not happy because I was scared that my business failed I had no money to pay back “She stated . She took loan in amount of 200,000 Riel (approximately 50 USD), She utilised loan in amount of 30 USD for chicken raising. And 20 USD plus 15 USD from her own capital for buying and selling local village products such as banana, jackfruit, pineapple, papaya ,some time she buy chicken to sell to the middleman who come to buy at her village.    She got benefit from her business; she bought a second hand bicycle which can help her to take the gods to the local marked. In average she can get 5 USD profit per day. Now she is able sending her small daughters to school. “My life is going better, I can join as a member of women group, I have a chance to share my concerns and learn new life from other members” She smiling and said with hope

 Cambodian lady 

Story and photo by: Van Sovatha, Community Education Officer

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