Farmer Becomes Business Owner


Ia Pha Yu in his grocery store.

Ia Pha Yu, 32, lives with his wife and two daughters in Prolean village in Cambodia. As a rice farmer, he couldn’t provide enough food for his family all year round. He grew rice following the traditional way, which produced enough for several months, but on the off months, the family went hungry.

To make up for the lack of money and food, he looked for additional work. Often it was hard to find.

Ia Pha Yu’s life was full of feelings of disappointment, because no matter how hard he worked, he could not provide food or a home for his children and wife. His family lived in his mother’s house.

When the hunger got really bad, he would borrow money from others with a high interest rate of 10 percent. This only made his situation worse.

As stress accumulated, he would fight with his wife. Whenever she would go out or talk with anyone, regardless if it was a man or woman, he started arguing and fighting with her out of jealousy.

When Food for the Hungry (FH) came to Prolean village, FH staff asked Ia Pha Yu to become a volunteer. He received training in agriculture, health, raising poultry and preventing domestic violence.

FH/Cambodia staff would make home visits and talk to Ia Pha Yu and his wife about how to live according to biblical principles. He was also encouraged to join a savings group.

IMG_4183In the savings group, he borrowed money to start a small grocery store. With the money he earned from the store, he started a cassava farm. Now, his wife runs the shop, he works the field. The couple works together as a team and fights less.

“Now my life is better as we both work hard trusting each other,” said Ia Pha Yu.

The family is also now living in their own home, which is a 242-square-foot wooden house with a zinc roof and inside plumbing. Life is improving for Ia Pha Yu in many ways, and he is pursuing dreams to make his future even better.

“I will expand my shop with all kinds of goods and also expand my cassava farm as I can borrow money from the savings group with low interest of 2 percent,” said Ia Pah Yu. “I will send my children to school so that they will not be like me, uneducated. I will share my life with others, especially with the poor to encourage them to be hopeful. I’m really thankful to FH/Cambodia staff as they helped my family to get rid of poverty. I never thought I have my life today with enough food and happiness.”

You and other partners of FH are inspiring hope and ending poverty all over the world. Ia Pah Yu and others thank you for your generosity.

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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