With 4 months left to fund-raise, our donation to date is $106,160! They were busy over the summer in Cambodia, installing 125 new field wells and 23 new family wells. This brings FAWCO's total number of wells up to 276 field wells and 267 family wells in Cambodia!! While we have exceeded our original fundraising goal, there are still a lot of people in Cambodia who do not have water, so I hope you will help us continue our surge for clean water!
I received the following information from Tabitha's founder, Janne Ritskes, the beginning of September and pass it on to all of you. It's good to realize the huge effect our wells are making!
IDEA!!: At your next meeting, read Janne's update, or publish it in your next newsletter. Your members will be very impressed with the impact their donation, or future donation, has made or can make.
Dear Friends and partners,
Today I would like to share the impact of water on our families. With a change of attitude through savings, a source of dependable water has the greatest impact on our families. This past 12 months we were able to install 2,597 sources of water which directly impacted 5,350 families. What we mean by direct is that the water sources are installed for specific families because these families must be able to earn an income from the water. However, families in the community who do not have their own water source do have free access to the water for family use - uses like taking baths, washing clothes, water for cooking and cleaning.
The impact on our families is immense! Their spendable income changes dramatically from less than 50 cents a day to an average of $6000 USD per year ($16.00 per day). How is this done? For families who have land suitable for growing rice: the change is from growing rice just once a year to growing rice year round. When I visited our Takeo project a few weeks ago, I was stunned by the intelligence of our families. The families had an average of 2 hectares of land but the land was broken into various plots of differing sizes. What the families were doing was growing rice at different stages. When I arrived, a number of plots were being harvested, while in other plots the rice was half grown and in others they were just beginning to plant rice. The effect was amazing as our families were constantly harvesting and earning monthly incomes from their rice.
One lady, Theira, was so excited! Her eyes were full of joy as she showed me her plots being harvested that day, plots that were half grown and plots they were re-planting. But it is the men who make it so very clear the impact this has on their lives. A consistent comment from the men, who stand proud and defiant before me is, "I bought my children back." I cannot begin to imagine under what circumstances so many of the men chose to sell their children, but I do know the circumstances that are bringing the children home. 10,356 of our families began growing rice year round this past program year.
For our families who have land that is not suitable for growing rice, growing vegetables of all kinds brings about change. Last week in our Kandal project I visited 60 hectares of newly grown vegetables. What a joy it was to see! Better yet, how delicious the vegetables are to eat. The variety of vegetables is amazing: corn, tomatoes, lettuces of all kinds, and surprising to me are things like Spanish onions, large green peppers and ginger. I never knew that Cambodia could grow such a wide variety of foods. 9,120 families were able to begin raising vegetables this past year.