Mrs Nu, 48, and her husband are cashew farmers in Kampong Thom, central Cambodia. Cashews are a common cash crop in this district, where 22 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line.
Most people in Mrs Nu’s village are farmers who struggle to earn enough for daily sustenance. They have no way to save money or improve their situation. After the harvest season, many people migrate to find work. Women and girls in particular are at high risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking at this time.
We work with the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC) to help women before more economically self-sufficient and less vulnerable to harm.
Through participating in savings groups, vocational training, and micro-enterprises, women not only increase their incomes but also enjoy higher self-esteem and respect in the community.
When Mrs Nu and her neighbours heard that a savings group could help them become more financially secure, they were eager to start one of their own.
“After CWCC organised a meeting to promote a savings project in my village, women requested that I form a savings group,” said Mrs Nu. “They told me that they trust me and would join in saving if I lead the group.”
The magic of saving
The group now has 40 members and, since July 2018, they have saved $1,600. Aside from saving money together, women can take out micro-loans with low interest to start a business or cover expenses.
“When the group was established, we started to put in savings regularly,” said Mrs Nu. “Women took loans for their household needs and to supplement their business. Besides saving money, members gain knowledge about business and vocational skills too.”
Mrs Nu was recently appointed vice-chair of her savings group. In this role, she registers new members, calculates savings interest, and manages loan repayments.
Mrs Nu is very happy to help women in her community, and says the savings group is a convenient way to help them meet their needs.
Donate now to help more Cambodian women access savings groups.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).