These stories were recently collected from Cambodian church planters who graduated from our program in April 2011:
Over the past 12 months, Chhoun Khim has grown a 60 member strong church that is impacting his community in significant ways. By setting up model gardens and then meeting with families individually, he has been able to demonstrate to people that viable, sustainable and productive agriculture is possible, even in the mostly dry region he comes from. For those who choose to also build these gardens, he provides seeds as an incentive once they have attended his training. Chhoun and his church are now in the process of setting up a model water system that will water the vegetable gardens, with hopes that other families will follow suit. Additionally, Chhoun has begun a small chicken enterprise that has resulted in a 33% increase in income for his family.
Mel is a unique individual who can read but has never learned to write, though this does not stop her from achieving anything. She has built a stable church of 35 people in her small community, and is an active member of a human rights network in her region that promotes issues such as gender and child rights. Mel has also proven to be an exceptional business woman, who has tripled her income to around $150 per month (3 times the national average) through her pig business in just the past 12 months.
Phana Pen is another man who has proven to be both a competent church planter and business man. His Church has steadily grown from just a handful of people to about 40. Running his pig business has also tripled his family income, while at the same time Phana and his church have been conducting hygiene and sanitation clinics around the community, with around 10 participants in each class.
Som Pak and his church of 67 people have been instrumental in revitalizing the workforce in their community. By conducting additional literacy education for adults, they have been able to prepare previously unemployed adults for employment. To date, 15 people from his small village have gained work through this program. The village chief claims that the incidence of idleness and chronic gambling has significantly reduced now that many of the adults in the community have employment.