Bucket of Leeks: Gardening to End Poverty

Mrs Pok is ready to market

Pok sorts her leeks to bring to the market for selling.

After Cambodia’s civil war in 1987, many families in the Anlong Veng area were unable to pursue gardening and bought vegetables imported from Thailand.

They spent their little money on vegetables—and on medical care. The vegetables were sprayed with a toxic chemical fertilizer that caused families to be sick.

Chhit Pok’s family faced the same problems as others in her community—the inability to produce food gardening, so they purchased unsafe food from Thailand.

She lives in Kokir Kandal, a Lumtong commune in the Anlong Veng district, with her husband, son and three daughters. Her family faced many problems that went beyond contaminated food.  She had no knowledge, skills or savings to run or start a business.

“My children could not go to school regularly as they needed to work for income,” Pok said. “My family did not have enough money for rice each day. I and my husband had to work hard outside to make money, with no time to take care of my children.”

FH Cambodia staff visiting Mrs. Pok's garden

FH/Cambodia staff instructs Pok and her husband on ways to improve her crop.

When Food for the Hungry (FH) started working in her community, Pok became a village volunteer. She was trained in agriculture (gardening), health and making money using small capital. She applied this new knowledge in starting a leek garden.

“First, my family grew only three beds of leeks as pilot business,” she said.  “As the harvest was so good, I expanded my home garden to 25 beds. Now, I sell up to 44 pounds a day of leeks, making $7.50 to $10 each day. It is more than enough for my daily expense with this income as we buy only things we need.”

She continues smiling, “I want to see all families in my community have better lives using new skills and knowledge trained by FH/Cambodia staff.”

FH/Cambodia staff are very happy to see families in the community, especially the poor start their own business for food and income. Now, more families value and have confidence in their own work as they apply new skills and knowledge.

Because of partners like you working with FH, these people now have more time to take care of their children, more nutritious food and can send their children to school to break the cycle of poverty.

About Um Phor

Um Phor has worked with Food for the Hungry in Cambodia for more than 20 years as communications staff and in other positions to serve those living in poverty.

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