…we have capital to do business
Vich Lang, her husband, Ham Minh, and their five little children once lived in a small leaf house on rented land in Or commune, Phnom Sruoc district, over 10 kilometres from the provincial town of Kampong Speu.
The couple sold fresh juice squeezed from cane in a cart; her husband also slaughtered pigs for daily wages. They earned US$ 2 per day, inadequate to feed the large family, often leaving them with meals only once or twice per day.
The household conditions have advanced significantly since Vich Lang applied for US$ 50 loan from VisionFund Cambodia to buy and raise pigs as an additional income generating activity in 2003.
With a fruitful pig husbandry business, Vich Lang borrowed larger loans to buy more pigs and household assets, with her current loan amounting to US$ 5,000. Ham Minh no longer slaughters pigs for other merchants, but gets others to do the job for his own business. Vich Lang sells the meat in the market while Ham Minh peddles it in the village by means of a motorbike, in addition to their expanding pig husbandry.
“As I earned more money, we requested a license to slaughter pigs ourselves and sell the meat in the market,” Vich Lang speaks of her business growth and income. “Before the loan, we would be very happy to earn US$ 2.5 per day, but now we can earn even US$ 50 per day.”
The growing income has enabled the family to buy a large parcel of land just in front of their former rented land and build a big wooden house on it. Their children, Sinat, 16, in grade 9; Vakhim, 14, in grade 6; Sina and her twin sister, Sineu, 12, both in grade 5; and Bunleap, 5, in grade 1, can enjoy sufficient food, even four times a day if they like, in a happier family environment.
“Before our loan we knew few people for social contact; nowadays, we know people here and there because we have capital to do business and are respected. We earn much money,” Ham Minh says. “We often argued in the past but now we never argue. We are cheerful.”