Home>Give>Cambodia Appeal – Seeds of Change
Incredible transformation is happening for disadvantaged farmers in Cambodia. A new method of farming is more than doubling rice crop yields and helping vulnerable people like Mrs Vanny to transform their lives.
Like many of the poorest people in Cambodia, Mrs Vanny and her community in Keov Mony are subsistence farmers who use traditional techniques to farm small plots of land. Although they work extremely hard, most families live hand to mouth, producing just enough food to feed themselves. And sometimes, when crop yields are bad, there is not enough food to last a season. Mrs Vanny’s husband makes a meagre living as a scrap dealer, and two years ago, they were living with their two children in a home bound together from banana leaves and sheets of plastic, uncertain of what the future would bring. Thanks to the generosity of our kind supporters in Australia, Mrs Vanny had access to a life changing program run by one of our local Jesuit Partners, the Karuna Battamband Organisation. Through the program Mrs Vanny learned a new method of rice farming, called the System of Rice Intensification (SRI).
“Learning the SRI method of rice farming has changed my future.” 
- Mrs Vanny, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) project participant, Cambodia
Developed over many years by a Jesuit priest, this astonishingly simple, effective technique uses a quarter of the usual amount of seeds that farmers use to plant their crop, 40% less water, and can produce more than twice their usual crops.  The program not only teaches the SRI method, our local Jesuit Partners support farmers every step of the way as they learn this new, sustainable farming technique. When it came to harvesting time, Mrs Vanny could scarcely believe her yield. On her family’s half hectare Mrs Vanny produced over 2,000kg of rice, more than triple the usual 600kg. With the money from the harvest, Mrs Vanny was able to secure a loan to build a new house, which is weather-proof and safe, along with a brick outhouse for better sanitation for the family.

Mrs Vanny's old home was open to the elements.

Mrs Vanny's new home is comfortable and secure.

In Mrs Vanny’s community, word is spreading about the benefits of SRI. This year 26 new farmers will attend the program, and with the support of Australians like you, we can realise our plan for a Demonstration Farm where more Cambodian farmers can learn this life changing technique. These days Mrs Vanny is a vocal advocate for SRI and she has recently become a leader in her local Women’s Group. Now, she looks forward to the future with great joy, and is especially delighted that she will be able to provide her children with a good education. “I am very happy!” Mrs Vanny exclaims. To give more people the opportunity to transform their lives, we need to provide more seeds of change. With your support we can invest even further in projects like this in Cambodia, and in the 10 other countries where Jesuit Mission is empowering the most marginalised people to live full, free lives.
In Cambodia your generous gift will help plant the seeds of change:
  • $50 can provide a bicycle for a student from a very poor family to enable them to travel to school
  • $80 can fund the salary of a part-time librarian for two months
  • $150 could provide a new wheelchair customised for Cambodia’s rural terrain
Please make your kind, tax-deductible donation before June 30 to help empower women, men and children to create sustainable futures and live full, free lives.