War veteran now a successful farmer

Savatt Pann is 48 years old and a father of six children. He lost his right hand and left eye in 1984 during the Cambodian war near the border of Thailand. He used to feel guilty as his family had to live in a small palm leaf house as it was difficult for him to find better paying work due to his education and disability Around 4 years ago Savatt has started to raise some pigs, earning a small amount of money to contribute to supporting his family. 

It was in 2016 that Cufa staff in Cambodia identified Savatt as being eligible to participate in its Village Entrepreneur (VE) program. This program is designed to provide essential education and business skills, support, and guidance participants need to run and build a profitable micro-business. More importantly, this program enables them to provide essential services to their families such as healthcare, education for their children, sanitation, electricity and water; services that were not affordable for them before joining the program.  The Australian public select an individual Village Entrepreneur to support at a cost of $39 per month to help them build their own micro-business and become financially sustainable within three years. Savatt said that when he was selected that he was committed to the program and did not want to disappoint. He said that he would try his best to change his business his family’s standard of living.

Savatt said that through the program he has learnt many skills in business management and farming activities. “I am more able now to looking after the health of my pigs. I can make good feed for them and prevent them from getting sick by using bacteria killing liquid and I have built a better, bigger pig pen which I regularly clean”, he said. 

Savatt said his pig farming business had contributed to being able to change his family’s livings conditions. Recently, he has used the profits to build a new house, install a sanitary toilet and improve other household items. He also said he has been able to afford to support his younger children’s education. He added “I have recently purchased good stationeries, new bicycles, and uniforms for my kids, and I am saving up in my account to support their studies in higher education and also to ensure good healthcare for my family members”. 

Savatt’s goal is to have a regular income to support his family and ensure his children can get a higher education. To make this happen, he decided to expand his small pig farming business and using the farming and business management skills learnt and his business profit Savatt has now started duck and cow farming so that he could earn more money to support his family. 

Savatt said “I will never stop my farming businesses, I like them, and wanted to see them keep growing. I will also purchase a few cows to raise so I can sell them for profits and also get cow manure for my rice field.”

Savatt said he is very pleased to be in the program because he could obtain the skills he needed to grow and expand his business. He added, “I want to thank my Australian supporter and wish them good health and successful work.”  

To make a real life changing impact today visit ve.org.au and select a Village Entrepreneur to support.