In Cambodia, determined women like Beng are working together to save for change.
Beng lives in Prasat Sambo District with her husband and two sons, and earns a living by farming. She married in 2008, but after one year together, her husband started to become violent towards her when drinking. He even tried to stab her.
Beng kept her situation a secret because she thought others wouldn’t understand. With nowhere to turn for help, she was forced to put up with this for 10 long years.
Last year, Beng came across a savings group for women supported by Action on Poverty and our local partner, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC).
These groups help women pool their resources and learn business skills so they can start their own small enterprise. The groups also offer a pathway to vital services such as accommodation and counselling for those escaping violence or trauma.
After attending three meetings, Beng was brave enough to share her story with other women. She then attended group counselling with CWCC and found the help she needed to educate her husband about the impact of his violence. Since then, he has not been violent towards her.
“I feel that my life has changed a lot and I have so much relief now,” she said.
Becoming a leader
Beng’s group works together to pool their savings. Last year, they saved over $21,000 together. Aside from starting a business, women also use the savings to pay for school fees or medical bills, or to draw on in case of emergencies.
“After joining the saving group, I have no worries if I need urgent money when my children get sick,” she said. “I will expand my business and try to put more in saving so that I can renovate my home and spend for my children’s education.”
A champion for women
Beng was recently elected to the savings group committee in her district, and now educates other women about the value of saving.
She is also responsible for reporting cases of domestic violence, and helps other women to escape these unbearable situations.
Donate now to help more women like Beng break the cycle of violence and poverty.
Sustainable Development Goals
This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).