Dear friends and partners,
As the Covid virus continues to disrupt the lives of millions around the world, Cambodia continues to struggle as well. Many have lost their jobs because the tourism industry has come to a virtual halt; manufacturing is down to 40% – slowly the local markets are opening and many families are struggling to meet their daily basic needs. There is no government social net to help folks – no subsidies; no unemployment cheques; no means to keep life going except by turning to family for help and sustenance.
Despite the doom and gloom, families in Tabitha savings program live out the importance of savings – the impact and hope that it brings to thousands. In Lvear Village, Siem Reap, Dul Kimsan joined the savings program in 2017. Dul has 6 children – 3 of whom are married with several children of their own. They moved to the cities to work in factories and construction.
Dul lived in a small thatch home when she started saving with Tabitha in 2017. Her first savings was to buy water jars to store water for her family needs. She used savings to start making white wine – the mash of which she used to feed her chickens. She received a well for planting vegetables and rice: the profits went to buying a rice mill and a small tractor for ploughing her fields and carrying her produce to market. Each cycle she bought materials to rebuild her home; and then to build her toilet and shower room.
As Dul says it – “70% of my dreams have come true with savings. I never thought this was possible.” The past 6 months have made it difficult for Dul – the covid virus saw her grown children lose their jobs and return home. Now she must feed and support her growing family. But she does not complain – “ I am so happy that I can support us all. The family’s income has decreased but I am still committed to savings – my savings is smaller but each week I save. I would like to say thank you to Tabitha for coming to develop our village. I ask that Tabitha keep on with their work in order to support all of Cambodia forever.”
I thank each of you for standing with our families like Dul, the covid virus has not won with her and thousands like her because you cared. I thank my God for His Great mercy in allowing us to work with so many – to be a beacon of hope in a world that looks dark in this troubled time. I am humbled by Dul and so many like her. I am humbled by each of you who have made it possible. How good that is!