Sister Ngin Sat is 48 years old, living in Sanlong Village, Prey Khnes Commune, Mesang District, Prey Veng Province. She is a single mother with four children, three girls and one boy. Her livelihood depended on growing rice in a small plot of land and running a small grocery business at home. “My family was in a poor living condition. I was an unlucky lady. I had experiences with domestic violence and was not able to resist this suffering, so I decided to separate from my husband, leaving me with four children under my responsibility” explained Sister Ngin Sat.
Sister Ngin Sat’s living condition was categorized under Poor II. She was a beneficiary of ODOV project and selected to participate with ODOV’s “Improved Household Food Security” project in July of 2016 funded by MCC and CFGB. Through participation in this project, Sister has obtained knowledge of sustainable agricultural techniques, has received agricultural inputs that enable her to carry out vegetable gardening and raise chickens for daily consumption, and has received additional income from selling the surplus she produced.
Sister Ngin Sat explained the activities involved with vegetable and chicken productions that her family is busy taking care of every day: feeding chickens, weeding, making compost, watering, and harvesting vegetables to sell around her village and occasionally to sell in the market. With her forward thinking, Sister Ngin Sat prepares her gardens to grow vegetables. She plans to harvest them at the right times of the year to supply for the increased market demand during festival events like Khmer New Year and P’chum Ben because she would receive good prices from selling her vegetables.
Regarding her earned income, sister told us she could earn around $3.50-$5 every day from selling a variety of vegetables including herbs, papaya, long beans, amaranth, morning glory, and different kinds of cabbage, she could earn $20 to $30 per month from selling chickens, and earn $3-$4 in profits per day through her grocery business. Sister added that the money she earned was used to support her family’s needs and to cover the expenses of her daughters’ education. The oldest daughter was able to receive her university degree while the other daughters attend high school and primary school. “My family is healthy. I have vegetables and chickens to eat year-round. My living conditions are better than before. And the most exciting thing is that my oldest daughter has finished her university” explained Sister Ngin Sat.
Sister also expressed that participating with ODOV’s project, it is not just helping her to increase food security and livelihoods, but she has improved knowledge, spirit, and attitude. She felt that she is more motivated, more confident, and empowered. She has initiative ideas, for example, she knew when to grow vegetables to get a better price. She also felt confident contacting other community members. ODOV organized a learning forum at her house so that she could share her experience and ideas with the other farmers.
Despite Sister Ngin Sat’s struggles being a single mother taking care of her family, she is hard working and very committed. She is a very good mother. She has treated her children very well and is willing to have them educated. ODOV appreciates her work and is proud of her commitments. The story of Sister Ngin Sat shows a good example for other community members, particularly for women to feel more motivated and encouraged so that they can provide for their families without solely depending on their husbands.