Mushrooms, Migration, & Opportunities
Growing mushrooms has many benefits for farmers in Kampong Khan, Cambodia, participating in World Hope’s Thera Metrey social venture, like increased food security. Another of these benefits is reducing the need for labor migration and contributing to family reunification. M. Eang, a woman whose family is now reunified and participating in Thera Metrey, shared her story of hope and change with us. Read the direct translation to hear what she has to say…
“My name is M. Eang, my family has 4 members: me, my husband and two children, a 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. My daughter is in grade 4 now.”
“My family had a very difficult past. After we got married, we had a small plot of land for farming. When my daughter was six months old, my husband left for Malaysia to do labor work.”
“In the first few months working in Malaysia, he sent money to me and we could save some money.”
“However, later on, my husband started changing his behavior, I had no money to save any more from him… After a year of working there, I decided to tell him to come back home to Cambodia.”
“After he came back home, he worked in another province to earn money as a woodcutter. He only visited home after two or three weeks straight of cutting wood, and then would go right back to that province.”
“After a long while, my husband heard that Thera Metrey was looking for a driver who comes from our village. So, he applied for a driver position and now does the delivery of mushrooms for Thera Metrey.”
“Our family situation is getting better after my husband started working with Thera Metrey and, at the same time, I can do some farming on my land. He is also able to help me now. He no longer needs to stay far away from our family. Through the regular income from Thera Metrey, we can afford to have our own toilet, borehole/well, and new motorbike and we can support our children financially to go to school.”
World Hope’s Thera Metrey mushroom project in Cambodia first piloted in 2016 and established mushroom production as a climate-friendly and women-centric approach to reducing harmful labor migration and improved family incomes. Today, the project continues with a focus on the financial and professional sustainability of the producer group and its transformative impact on the community.
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