Cufa’s sustainable response to Covid 19

The global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt by many, and though in Australia the curve is flattening, and life is returning to some normalcy, the peak of the effects of the pandemic may not have yet been felt in developing countries around the world. Learn how Cufa is prioritizing its Covid-19 response to both help flatten the curve in Cambodia whilst also providing sustainable business opportunities.

 

The Covid-19 Crisis is a global crisis, affecting everyone, everywhere, and although it does not discriminate between race, gender, economic or soial status, the effects of the virus will especially impact those who are more financially disadvantaged. According to the World Bank, although now communities located in rural areas have a lesser risk of catching the disease, the resulting economic disruptions “are likely to be particularly damaging for the poor and vulnerable”.

 

In response to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Cufa has streamlined the commencement of the Family Livelihoods Improvement Project COVID-19 or FLIPC19. This project is comprised of a series of workshops that will provide training in the creation of a multi-purpose liquid soap. This project will support their communities’ efforts in slowing the spread of the Covid-19 and will also be used by the participants to start up small, sustainable businesses during and into the future. 

 

Figure 1: Cufa seeks to replicate the successful workshops provided during the SRIRI Project

 

 

Cufa had previously conducted similar soap making workshops during its successful Strengthening Resettlement and Income Restoration Implementation (SRIRI) in Cambodia in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), where we successfully worked with communities displaced by the rehabilitation of a disused railway to find meaningful and sustainable business opportunities. The program, started in 2012, was one of Cufa’s most comprehensive programs, exercising Cufa’s expertise in developing employment, education and economic institutions. We achieved some amazing results in all our target areas, providing financial literacy and vocational training to the thousands of people, especially women.

The villages that the FLIPC-19 program will be conducted in were consulted early in April to identify the needs of the community. An overwhelming concern was that most of the community’s soap supplies were imported from neighboring countries and Phnom Penh, resulting in a shortage of supplies from increased demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving the community vulnerable and unable to properly protect itself. Following the consultation, we received strong interest in conducting these workshops, especially from women in the community. The empowerment of women through entrepreneurship has always been a priority for Cufa, and we are proud to work with such enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

Following the workshops, Cufa will provide on-going support and training to ensure that participants can grow their small business into a sustainable and profitable business. The project will also include a visit to a model enterprise where participants can see and discuss the elements of a successful business and the challenges which these entrepreneurs have faced. Cufa will also provide training in business development, leadership skills and financial literacy to complement the technical training our participants will receive.

Learn about what Cufa is doing to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and continue to deliver sustainable livelihoods by checking out our website.