“We want to supply our soap to all districts in Kampong Cham” pointing to the slowly churning barrel of citrus colored soap, Mony described what her microenterprises next stage was. The workshop was abuzz, people alternating between observing and having a go at the different stages of soap production. Several micro-enterprises, all composed of members from different communities, answered the request to attend the workshop. Each village formed their own microenterprise, Mony helped set up the Rung Roeung Soap Community.
For many in their area, the dominant industry of cashew nuts and rubber plantations have come to a halt as ability to export has dropped greatly, leaving many unemployed. In an effort to assist in alleviating rising unemployment, Cufa initiated the program to provide economic opportunities for these communities.
As the workshop is being packed up, Mony asks our project officers to provide further training on other types of soap production, to expand their product line up. Members from the Housewife Soap Community, discuss their plans to expand production as they load crates of their soap, now in recycled plastic water bottles, onto the back of trucks. Though the government has announced a social support program to people who have become unemployed from the pandemic, the limited amount of just 60% of the minimum wage (USD $190 a month) is being received by workers as not enough(David Hutt, 2020). For this reason, we aim to create microenterprises meeting a demand.
Though the cashew and rubber plantations may be quiet for the time being, there is a renewed activity in the community, as a rekindled sense of hope is sparked with this opportunity.
David Hutt, 2020, The Diplomat, ‘Does Cambodia’s Coronavirus Bailout Really Add Up?’, visit here, Viewed on the 30/6/2020.