Communities coming together during Covid

Before 2020, the small village that Mr Kim Yhen is from, much like the rest of Cambodia, seeing a modest increase in living standards. An increase in education and skills in the community had allowed for the growth of good jobs in the area. Kim was seeing that ambition and enthusiasm in the classes he was teaching, with children who were excited to learn. Now the school yard, once filled with kids of all ages playing ball games or tag, lies empty, a common story for schools in Australia only a few months ago. For Mr. Kim, a schoolteacher, that meant he was out of work. Mr. Kim would traditionally rely on his second form of income, cashew farming, but as this article in the Khmer Times points out, prices have plummeted recently, brought on by border restrictions and reduction in global demand.

Without any form of income, the situation became dire for Kim. Mr. Po Sophea, a Cufa Staff member who is on the project staff involved in Cufa’s FLIP 19 soap making workshops, was looking for members to join the social enterprises. Kim, not one to pass on a golden opportunity, decided to join one of the social enterprises, named the House Wife Production Group. Kim, as a teacher, knew the importance of learning and so participated actively in all the workshops the Cufa conducted, including the soap making, general business management and accounting skills training programs.

He has been participating as part of his social enterprise, which has seen a profit of USD $ 315.25 total, with the most recent profit reported being $128.75, the second highest out of the 5 community enterprises that Cufa is working with for that month. Kim and his community enterprise are currently continuing to search the market to grow their income, confident that the growing awareness and demand for sanitary products caused by Covid-19 will bring greater income.