Cambodia: Snapshots of Hope

Written by
FH staff writer
Published on
June 5, 2023 at 2:45:00 PM PDT June 5, 2023 at 2:45:00 PM PDTth, June 5, 2023 at 2:45:00 PM PDT
Parents bring their children to Child Clubs to boost their education.

Written by Jenny Gutzmann and Mark Stewart, photographs by Jenny Gutzmann

Healed, thriving, and abundant communities living in harmony

Cambodia is situated in Southeast Asia and has a rich culture that dates back thousands of years. Cambodia gained its independence from France in 1953, and for nearly 20 years, the country thrived. From the late 1960s to the early 1990s, Cambodia suffered political upheaval, an extended period of civil war, and genocide.

While the past two decades of economic development have resulted in a significant reduction in poverty, there is still much to be healed, especially in rural areas. FH Canada partners with FH Cambodia in 35 communities in the northern provinces of Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey. Together, they cast an ambitious vision for their future—"Healed, thriving, and abundant communities living in harmony."

Chhuoy and Chruok are thrilled with the veggies they've grown, thanks to Thrive for Good gardening hacks.

Thrive for Good

During the pandemic, the FH Cambodia team had to get creative to train community members in climate smart agriculture. FH decided to partner with Thrive for Good, a Canadian-based organization, to pilot an online training for increasing a garden's impact. Kim, the matriarch of her large family, and her children stepped forward to learn how they could get higher yields and more nutrition. The family now grows cucumbers, eggplants, chilis, long beans, and more! They even have a frog farm! They're able to eat their produce and sell the surplus, increasing their food security and income.

"I've grown more crops for my family's daily consumption and that has made my family healthier and is no longer getting sick." — Chhom, farmer

Frog farming provides income for families as well as a source of protein—crispy, deep-fried frogs are favourite street food in Cambodia!

Child Clubs

"I believe that our future hope is within our next generation who will be able to finish their studies and have a good job to support their family." — Tun, Education Volunteer

When FH Cambodia begins working in a community they meet with leaders to talk about the benefits of Child Clubs—a space for primary students to receive extra classes and support. Ultimately, the decision is up to the community leaders who, if they find value in the idea, find the land, create a building, and include the community in making the space feel beautiful and welcoming. The clubs are run by FH-trained volunteer teachers and youth who are encouraged to be positive role models for younger children. There are now 39 Child Clubs in the 35 communities where FH Cambodia works!

Children in Cambodia ride their bikes to and from school.

Students of Chhouk Sar Primary School learn where Canada is on the globe.

Join FH Canada Journey Partners as they walk alongside vibrant families in Chong Kal, Cambodia to create flourishing communities.

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