Towards autonomy for an entire region

In the very poor region of Kompong Thom, Secours catholique (Catholic Aid) and Caritas Cambodge (Caritas Cambodia) are running a vast program to help villagers develop economic activities that will enable them to improve their living conditions. A long-term project.

Humanitarian and Development

Cambodia, Cambodia

Patrick Flicoteaux

18,000 euro to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28
  Project leader Secours Catholique

«  This multi-year programme anticipates all the problems of daily rural life and shows how community service circuits can be set up with but a few resources, helping an entire village to grow. It is a balanced, educational endeavour. »

Patrick Flicoteaux

In November 2004, the Veolia foundation had already selected Secours catholique and Caritas Cambodge to help run a project called “Associations de villages” (Village Associations) in Kompong Thom Province. Eighteen months later, it is renewing its support, given the extent of the needs, the relevance of this global development project and the excellent results obtained thus far.
Located 150 km north of the capital, this region is one of the poorest in Cambodia. It has an illiteracy rate of 80%. With very low farming production and unpredictable yields because of alternating droughts and floods, most of the men seek work in the neighboring regions. They leave women and children behind without any resources.

Identifying activities with good prospects

eradicate this misery, Caritas Cambodge, a Secours catholique partner, has developed the “Associations de villages” project to help lead the local population towards economic independence while at the same time developing agriculture, health infrastructure, teaching basic hygiene, and education.
The guiding principle for these associations is to help its beneficiaries make a collective decision about the most appropriate activities on which to focus their energy – diversify crops, create local craft industries, develop fishing, etc. – then to help them implement these projects. In each village, the poorest families are encouraged to group together to manage their everyday lives. In nineteen villages in Kompong Thom Province, Caritas Cambodge is hoping to eventually improve the lives of more than 12,000 people. Following on from this, the method could be applied to the entire country.
To help continue the work already accomplished, the Veolia foundation has made a grant of 19,000 euros.