The local children play in the puddles between the deluge, enjoying the small amount of peace between the monsoon rains. Botum Hon Sok Nhem, the head of the small Samaki Soap Community watches from under her house’s awning. The Samaki Soap Community, which her and 5 other women and a man run, has seen a success as a part of the Family Livelihoods Improvement Project in response to Covid-19 (or FLIP 19 for short). Having been able to generate over $210.50 for their Social Enterprise so far, they have also had the opportunity to attend Sale and Marketing; Bookkeeping Training and Education on Covid-19 provided by Cufa.
Alongside Samaki Soap Community, other Community Led Social Enterprises participating in the FLIP-19 program have been able to raise 607.00 USD in total as of July. This was done by producing 2,544 litres of soap to sell to their local communities. Cufa will provide further training in soap production, and we hope that they will continue to be able supplement their regular income.
Houen Nut, sits inside her sons home, looking on as the rains begin again. She explains how, as a widow, she has been supported by her daughters as she looks after her youngest son. Due to the pandemic she says, “it has affected my monthly income because my daughters have reduced their support for me”. Introduced to the program, she was eager to take it up for her, as she hopes that it will allow her to supplement her income, and hopefully turn it into a business of her own.
Older than most of her other co-workers in her micro enterprise, she reflects how worried she was at the beginning. “ I am always worried and thought I was getting too old and illiterate, maybe I wouldn’t sell as much soap”, continuing she says “But, after I had attended many training sessions organised by Cufa, and the encouragement of my team members, I was able to do it”. She says she hopes to help her youngest son to learn about soap production, so that he can keep the soap business sustainable.
As the Monsoon rains continue, soap production will hopefully continue to be a viable business solution for the micro-enterprises we have worked with.