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CUFA Wins First Project Under Direct Aid Program

In a highly competitive arena, we’re pleased and very proud to announce that CUFA has secured funding under the Australian Government’s Direct Aid Program in Cambodia for the first time ever.

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is a flexible small grants program funded from Australia’s aid budget and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s overseas posts. The DAP’s number one focus is to fund projects primarily directed towards practical and tangible results. And CUFA’s track record of delivering aid directly into the heart of the community, combined with its powerful proposal named SEED – made the grade.

The goal of SEED – which stands for Savings, Enterprise and Economic Development – is to empower 1,500 women and men, in particular people with a disability, across the provinces of Stung Treng, Thong Khmoum and Kampong Cham – through education, vocational and financial inclusion opportunities.

CUFA CEO, Dr Peter Mason, said: “This is great news which allows CUFA to expand significantly in the region – and that means more assistance to the poorest people to help them grow and develop their own enterprise livelihood programs and create a path for greater self-determination.”

With immediate effect, the project will provide training and support for participants in business, husbandry and livelihoods skills to improve their economic situation, plus financial literacy skills to allow them to make sensible money management decisions.

“It’s important that we can continue to work with these communities in Cambodia. We have been involved with them since 2008 and this now allows us to maintain our momentum. Even more significantly, this is a different type of support: it’s an expansion of the Village Entrepreneur program, and complementary to the Credit Union Development project.”

Using qualified CUFA staff and expert assistance from graduates of CUFA’s Village Entrepreneur program, SEED will be delivered through formal lessons, hands-on training and practical demonstrations.

Participants will complete quarterly business reports to monitor their sales and progress, will have access to specialised financial literacy training, and most importantly, a safe place to keep and save money for the first time ever.

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