Saroem, 30, lives in Kandol village in a remote part of Koh Kong province with her husband and three children.
Previously, Saroem’s family made a small amount of money from household farming and seasonal laboring, as well as trying to raise livestock with little success. “Farmers work hard but still find it difficult to make enough income to survive,” said Saroem. “I didn’t know many things about rearing livestock; I didn’t even know if it was profitable or not. I just followed what others were doing.” She participated in CARE’s previous project which equipped women with the techniques to raise their livestock well and skills to run their own small businesses. The LEL project is now developing their skills further.
“My life has changed since I have joined CARE’s projects—I have invested more in livestock rearing, especially after receiving support from CARE to become a demo-farmer. I have more diversified livelihood activities as I now grow vegetables and rear chickens.” Saroem said with enthusiasm. She has also become a para-vet woman, called on by many farmers in her community for advice and to help vaccinate their animals.
“Livestock rearing has now become a primary income for my family. As well as using this income for household expenses and sending my children to school, I have saved to invest in an animal food mixing machine. From the knowledge, skills and experience I have learned from CARE on making animal feed, I am planning to run this as a small business in my village. And as a para-vet, I will shortly start selling vaccine and medicine, providing vaccination and treatment services at a low cost to all livestock farmers in my area,” Saroem elaborated.
The LEL project continues to support Saroem as she starts her new endeavours through regular visits and providing advice when she encounters challenges. By encouraging local entrepreneurs such as Saroeum, CARE aims to develop female leaders as role models for other enterprising young women while also providing sustainable services such as affordable livestock vaccine which will benefit many across the whole community.