By Stephanie Brown, Marketing and Communication Manager CUFA
CUFA were delighted to premiere How a chicken sent my children to school, at Mutuals 2013 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 27 October 2013. If you missed it, you can view it now (click above).
In late August/early September CUFA’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Stephanie Brown, travelled to Cambodia for two weeks and spent a number of days in Koki Thom village collecting footage and information to help tell the story of Yuth, a successful Village Entrepreneur who is a chicken farmer in Kandal Province.
“Having worked on the Village Entrepreneur project from the office in Sydney for two years, it was absolutely amazing to see the impact of the project on the ground. I often receive wonderful stories that come out of the field and I thought I knew the impact it was having on the lives the villagers and their families but nothing beats seeing it firsthand.” Stephanie said of the experience.
Yuth was one of the first Village Entrepreneurs to join the program when it started back in 2009. Since joining the program, Yuth has gone from living at subsistence level raising chickens for food and relying on what she could find to having a fully functioning and profitable chicken farm which she has now expanded to include vegetables. Her dream of seeing her daughters finish school and go on to university is closer to reality thanks to the support she received from her Community Investor who sponsored her on a monthly basis to get her chicken farm up and running and making a profit. With the profits, Yuth is able to pay her children’s school fees and keep them in school.
The most moving part of the experience for Stephanie was listening to Yuth tell the story of the day when she informed someone in Australia had chosen to invest in her and her business
“The way her face lit up when recalling the day she was told she had received support was incredible. Although I don’t understand a word of Khmer I could feel the excitement she felt as she told the story. The impact is so real and sometimes it’s hard to understand that being oceans away from the villagers who are supported through the program, that’s why I wanted to make this film.”
The aim of the clip was to tell one of the many success stories to come out of the Village Entrepreneur through film.
“It’s easy to read about it but when you actually see the faces of the Village Entrepreneurs and hear them telling their own story it is so much easier to understand the full extent of how the program is impacting their lives.”
CUFA currently support close to 200 Village Entrepreneurs across Cambodia and Timor Leste with 99.8% of villagers’ businesses achieving sustainability. Through the program, the poorest of the poor in communities are now able to afford food for their families daily, improve their houses, access health care and able to keep their children in school. All Village Entrepreneurs are members of their local village savings bank and each are actively making contributions to their savings accounts to create a more sustainable future which is made possible by the $37 a month donated by their Community Investor back in Australia.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Village Entrepreneur program please visit www.ve.org.au or contact Alison Dacy (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 490 467).