World Hope’s ministry in Cambodia began in 2005 in our effort to combat human trafficking. We worked alongside other faith agencies in a consortium to rescue, restore and reintegrate under-aged girls who had been trafficked into sexual slavery. Over the years of caring for these girls and restoring them we also ran training and education programmes for the community and government officials such as the police, social services etc. In 2013 we closed our centre because we were no longer getting the rescued girls, this is a good news story because our community education had worked. But we still saw a need to help rural Cambodians out of their poverty and so we began the Mushroom House project.
Chany is just one woman whose life has been impacted by her mushroom house. Chany, her husband, and their son used to live in a small house that was in poor condition in the Kompong Siem district of Cambodia. Her husband migrated outside their village for a job cutting wood, but he had to spend a lot of time away from home and often wouldn’t get paid and it was illegal work so the danger of being caught was there.
Even though they didn’t have the financial resources to invest in a business endeavor, Chany was able obtain a mushroom house. Over the past year life has completely changed for Chany’s family. Using the revenue from their mushrooms, Chany and her husband built a much-needed new home. Her husband no longer needs to travel for work. They have an ongoing source of income that not only provides daily food but enough earnings to improve their livelihood. All this with one simple investment—agricultural waste.
They use agricultural waste from one annual planting of rice and mung beans to create an environment for the mushrooms to grow. Since they already have the materials necessary for cultivation, startup costs are cheap—people without credit, opportunity, or savings can participate.
The results of this project have been amazing! Farmers sell their mushrooms at markets in Phnom Penh where their organic product garners twice as much revenue as its chemically-treated counterpart. For more information check our website.