As 2015 draws to a close, CUFA is celebrating the successful completion of a mammoth three-year project which helped Cambodian families displaced by the relocation of the Cambodian railway line.
RIEL – Reaching an Independent Economic Life – enabled whole communities forced into the upheaval of resettlement to get back on their feet again. Through extensive financial literacy training and support, the project saw average incomes increase by 435%– and with figures like that we can truly say that economic circumstances have improved and livelihoods transformed.
Funded by the Australian Aid program, RIEL has been a vital step to help build economic independence for relocated families.
The railway project involves rebuilding the railway line and linking the capital, Phnom Penh to the main port in the south, Sihanoukville, and up to the Thai border. CUFA’s project involved assisting 375 relocated families who were living close to or on the railway tracks.
The goal of RIEL was to increase the financial skills of relocated families, so that they could invest in their businesses, manage their finances, pay debts and make more sound financial decisions in the future.
“Under the project our staff delivered one-on-one financial counselling sessions, operated a financial helpline and delivered training courses,” explained CUFA’s International Project Supervisor, Kundi Lay.
“Families learned how to manage their debt repayments and are starting to set themselves realistic financial goals. As a result of the training we’ve seen 76% of families reduce their debt levels, and 94% of families preparing a household budget”, he added.