There is a well-known Chinese proverb “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Investing in people or a community and providing them with the means to be able to provide for their own basic needs like food, shelter etc.
At World Hope International we believe in providing those in need with opportunity, dignity and hope so they can possess the tools for change in themselves, their family and their community.
The needs present in today’s world are complex and deeply interconnected. Our program areas complement one another and act as a comprehensive response to poverty. Students who are drinking clean water stay in school longer. Further education leads to better job opportunities. Stable families are less vulnerable to traffickers’ lies. Children who are free from slavery grow up with opportunity, dignity and hope. Those with access to clean water live healthier, more productive lives. The upward cycle continues.
At World Hope International, we don’t claim to have the grand solution to ending poverty. But there are simple steps we can take to alleviate suffering and empower the poor to help themselves.
Our programs bring tangible and positive change to the individuals we work with, who then go on to transform their communities and their countries. We base what we do on long-term results: we offer much more than charity, we provide resources and knowledge to the poor, so they can ultimately become agents of change within their communities.
Mushroom Grow Houses – Cambodia
In Cambodia, 80% of the population lives in rural areas, where the primary occupation is rice farming. Rice farming only occurs from May to November, leaving farmers without a steady source of income for the remaining five months of the year. As a result, a high number of men migrate to Thailand for work, leaving women vulnerable as the head of their households.
To ensure a year-round cash flow for rural farming families, World Hope International (WHI) works with farmers to create Mushroom Grow Houses out of waste from last season’s rice and mung bean harvests. Several crops of mushrooms can be grown in a single year and sold at local markets, with an average return on investmentof three and a half months.
Beginning with our Sisters Program in 2014, 128 female-led households were members of a savings group formed by WHI. WHI later expanded this program to explore mushroom production in five villages in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.
To bolster success of mushroom farmers, in 2016 WHI launched Thera Metrey. Meaning “Compassionate Earth,” Thera Metrey is a local cooperative enterprise for collective sorting, processing and delivery of mushrooms and other cash crops produced by farmer households. Through Thera Metrey, WHI is able to connect farmers to markets at competitive prices, ensuring production leads to income.
Mushroom farming has had a large impact on the lives of rural Cambodians, adding over $2,000 to farmer incomes annually and enabling them to stop traveling to urban areas for work, save for larger purchases, and pay off existing loans. As husbands and wives no longer need to separate to earn a living, families work side-by-side to contribute to the success of their mushrooms farms.
Some mushroom growers have built water wells to increase their production and to expand into other cash crops like mung beans, which enhance soil in addition to serving as a food source, as well as higher value cultivars such as black and yellow ginger, rosella, cacao and avocado. Others have gone on to build even more mushroom houses and buy agricultural waste from neighboring farms to supply their mushroom operations.
Investing in communities in Cambodia and using the agricultural waste that is readily available to them, WHI has been able to “Teach a man to fish” so they can feed themselves and their children.
To support World Hope International in our efforts to ‘invest in people and communities’ go to www.worldhope.org.au
Thank you for your support.
World Hope International (Australia)