Cambodia: which region and why
Mekong Plus has chosen to focus on the district of Rumdoul, province of Svay Riêng, which borders Vietnam, at only 3 hours by public bus from Hochiminh City. It is a relatively poor and remote region, on the other side of the river of the Mekong (to go to Phnom Penh one must cross the Mekong by a ferry).
The region is very poor and receives little support. It is either very dry and then nothing grows, or flooded, during the monsoon. About 80% of the households send one or more parents to Phnom Penh and other provinces, 4-6 months per year, desperate for work.
Since 2007 Mekong Plus works with local NGOs in the neighboring districts. The Mekong Plus team in Rumdoul is composed of agronomists, veterinaries, health specialists plus a team to develop the employment programs with Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations. This team also coaches the local NGO partners.
Agriculture: Sokheng, director of the program, has succeeded, with pilot farmers, to increase paddy yields six fold and the profits for the farmers three fold. He has also developped vegetable gardens -till now most vegetables were coming from Vietnam.
Kosal, our veterinary, has trained 40 village technicians, with the support of Trung, one senior staff of Mekong Plus in Vietnam.
Trung has a huge experience with Mekong Plus. He has succeeded to reduce the mortality for livestock from 30% down to less than 5%, thanks to a large network of village technicians.
Hàng, in charge of the health programs in Vietnam, is training Kimni for the school health program. 1000 pupils of primary schools and 60 from the kindergartens are covered, and this will expand by steps to the whole district. For example once a week all children brush their teeth on the school playground. See the video.
Borin and Kunthy have already created more than 50 sustainable jobs: quilters, women doing rag rugs and papier mâché...