It’s about rural economic security.
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Economic Development Services
What is the village family economy typically like in rural Cambodia?
It varies; but, in general, a large percentage of the adult population works in the agricultural field, most rice growing and harvesting. Some have specialties working on engine repair, welding and small stores for odds and ends and condiments. Each village or connection of villages has a central market open for fresh meats and vegetables twice a day – due to lack of refrigeration. The Community is working with vendors of solar-powered refrigerators to minimize the grow of bacteria in freshly slaughtered beef and pork, as fish, ducks and chickens are harvested, killed, cleaned, cooked and eaten quickly.
How is The Community reducing village family budgets?
Solar and wind power is favorable in the short-term, particularly for adding the necessities in rural life, including refrigeration. The Cambodia government has placed a high priority on making electricity available to the remaining 80% of the country, the rural Khmer homes and businesses. However, this connectivity will come with an incremental cost. Solar- and wind-energies in the villages will maintain lower family budgets, using grid energies as a backup alternative for peak usage requirements.
How is The Community increasing family incomes budgets?
The Community is working three alternatives. First, The Community is helping to create village-related jobs through the certified Health Literacy workers – achieving increased health as the primary goal, and incremental levels of income as the secondary goal. These positions will cost significantly less than nurses and midwives, while helping to save the lives of Khmer women during childbirth, as well as their babies during delivery and the postpartum period. Second, The Community is teaching green skills to village men and women to increase ‘health literacy’ along with ‘building green’ skills in the construction industry. Lastly, The Community is initiating a Woman-Owned Business initiative which encourages the creation of in-village stores, saving money and gas for villagers who typically have to travel 2-4 miles one way to buy items like cooking oil, condiments, bottled water and the like.
In 2015-2016, The Community funded the following activities in the piloted Green Connection Center in Takeo Province:
Does The Community write economic development grants?
Yes, in the economic development arena, The Community writes grants in the fields of Chronic Poverty Interventions; small-to-large scale Fish Farming and Vertical Aquaponics Farms; Renewable Energies; Water Conservation and Purification Systems.
All grants research and writing in which The Community participates need to be sustainable and replicable – therefore the targeted beneficiaries are under the umbrella of Global Pan-Asian Engagement Grants, with special emphasis placed upon the mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Most grants are designed for submission on behalf of the Children’s Health and Rural Education (CHAR) Consortium or in conjunction with a core of partnering sister-universities.
Principal investigators usually are from the partnering organizations, and can be resident within their homeland or in Cambodia – depending on the circumstances of the grant-in-question. Indirect costs and fiscal responsibilities and financial accountabilities rest with the partner, Omprakash, an exempt 501c3 not-for-profit which also facilitates The Community’s donation programs. There are three types of Grant Solicitations in which The Community has interest: