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CAMBODIA

Kampot

I can do everything to help


my family even I have to be
apart from them.
- Sakara, male child

No two things differ


more than abstract
and actual poverty
- Mary Ferrier

Poverty life
Rural society are spread all over the
world. There some area which have a
lot of rural society while some area
have so little. One of the most affected
issue in rural society is poverty.
People always avoid poverty because
obviously it is the issue which people
do not want to face. Cambodia is the

good example for poverty country.


More than 80% of population in
Cambodia have to live with poverty
life. Kampot is the small city
located in Southeast Cambodia,
which we have already observed
one familys life style in Kampot
to actually understand how rural
people live and feel.

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Hello real life !

People are now get


used to living in the
develop ed city. There are
many people that has
never experienced the real
life in the rural city
which
is
completely
different from the city
life. If we do, we will
realized how hard is it to
live in the country side
which i s full of poverty.
Kampot is the example
for the rural city that
shown the another the

example for the rural


example for the rural
city that shown the
another side of the world
which we would like to
show
everyone
a
difficulties of
these
group of people who have
to overcome obstacl es for
thei r family to survive
in each day. Accordi ng
to our observing people
in Kampot, we found
that every family are all
poor and live from
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hand to mouth and


because of this poverty,
the family members have
to work to find more
income whether children or
adults or even elders. Most
of children in Kampot are
lack of education because
there are not enough
money for their famil y to
pay for school. Every
family members have to
work at least 5 days per
week or sometimes they
have to work 7 days per
week depending on income
and expenses in each
month or each famil y
because every family has
the same goal which i s
savi ng money for some
emergency or other needed.

Hello real life


( cont.)
Besides worki ng hard and
earni ng more income for
family, every member cannot
buy every facilities that they
wanted or needed. They just be
able to buy some that really
needed. Even for health checkup, they be able to receive health
check-up just for some month or
for some people, they receive
none. As we have stated above,
everything depend on the

amount of saving per month. When


somefamily have enough amount of
money, they choose to send their children
to school for gaining knowledge even
though education cost some money.

I just want to go to
school, thats it.
- Camba , male child

but they still choose the best opportunity for their children which is education
even themselves could not get one before. They hope their children will be able
to use education developing and upgrading their lifes quality in the future
to avoid poverty in which their family is facing now.
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Hello real life (cont.)


Poverty must not be a
bar to learning and
learning must offer
an escape from
poverty
- Lyndon B. Johnson
From an observation and
an interview population in
Kampot, we found that most
of people live in corrugated
metal house and some
family not even have their
own shelter. Even though
there are many families who
can build their house from
concrete material, but they
still working hard for
replacing saving which they
used to build the shelter and
to make sure that they have
enough saving for each
month.

We have been tracking and following one


family in Kampot. They emigrated from
nearby city which has no prosperity for
starting new life in the better place. They
hope that their quality of life will get
better but everything is not perfect. There
always have an obstacle in everything
and also with this family. They use more
than 4 month to getting everything in
shape and be able to upgrade their life
quality.

No mater how hard or tired it


is, but when I see our
beautiful future, it's all
gone. Chiang ,
grandfather

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Who are you?


Introducing to Joh family
Now, we will introducing you our observed family in our
journey to Kampot, Cambodia. This family is an example of
a group of people living in a rural area with poverty. There
are 7 members in this family which are grandfather, grand
mother, father, mother, 2 sons and a daughter. They just
migrated from the city nearby Kampot. They gone through
many things since living in Kampot especially for this 6
months of our observation.

No one wants to
live in poor life.
- Akkie ,
grandmother

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Disaster
In Cambodia, there are disaster going on so often in this six month of our
observation in Kampot. This led us to meet one family who lost the leader of their
family from the disaster in Kampot which is Joh family. From the disaster attacked
in Kampot, Joh family lost one family member which is father which was like the
main person of this family. Also, this disaster affected on mother and the male
child. Mother lost her hand and ear which led her sadness. The male child saw his
father died in front of him and saw his mother got serious injury which was so
painful for his feeling. Also, this disaster affected on mother and the male child.
Mother lost her hand and ear which led her sadness. The male child saw his father
died in front of him and saw his mother got serious injury which was so painful for
his feeling. This was the worst news of this family members. They are all struggling
to find the solution or a way to find money for healing the mother and to replace the
income which father could earn before.
Fortunately, the government supported their
family by giving 70$ for their lost of family
members death. Even the money given from the
government can help this family though it
I lost my husband, I lose
cannot help them to get rid of all sadness or any
my ear, and I lost my
bad feeling. Mother has become disabled person.
hand, but I will never
Obviously, she could not work anymore because
lose my soul and goal.
her main job was farming so when she lost her
- Katu , mother
hand everything was gone.She lost everything
in the same time which are husband who is like
her love, hand and ear which is like her strength,
her job which is like her future and her soul which
is like everything. She could not imagine before
that this struggled situation was
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D
R
O
U
G
H
T

happened to her. At least she got her family who always


standing by her side to inspire and encourage her even
their feeling were not much different from her. But there
was an opportunity arise in front of her. Mother is now
becoming an owner of the restaurant which is the small
business. This opportunity was given by the international
organization which helps the rural poor by giving one
female member a loan to start a small business. Her
business is going okay. She was so happy and so proud of
her business because cooking is her talent. She had never
think before that she would be able to open her own
restaurant. From doing a small business, Joh family can
earned more income and this income can replace the
income lost from father death as well. At least there are
good things despite in bad things.

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Interview
- Why did you choose to migrate to
Kampot? Can you tell a little bit of you
background?
Katu : In the past, our family is very
poor. We don't have enough money to buy
foods or other stuffs. Someday, we can
eat only 1 or 2 meals because we need to
save money. My children are not able to
get any education instead they need to
work. In our previous province, there was
no job for us because of drought and
scarcity. Someday, we don't have any
work to do, so we didn't earn any money.
This is why we trying to find other
province to escape from poverty.
- Before you come to Kampot, did you
hope for anything about your new life?
Katu : We hope that we will have a work
and get enough money. I hope my
children could get an education and I
hope my parents will have a better life. I
don't want them to be stricken.
- So after migration, is it better or
worse? What are decision youve made to
change for developing your lifes
quality?
Katu : In the first month, we started with
nothing, no money, no food and no
friends. Everyone need to do work. We
cant get medical check-up. We can't have

any sanitary. We can eat only rice. But


when the time passes, we slowly develop our
life quality. We can get medical check-up
in some month. We can buy sanitary
every month and we be able to eat rice with
vegetable and meat. In the fourth month,
we choose to give our youngest daughter
an education. She was so happy. She
danced around like crazy but thats made
us so proud. After that I also give an
education to my second child. Even our
life is not the best but it is much better
than the past.
- What is the big problem after
migrating and how did you pass
through it?
Katu :In the third and the fifth month, we
had a problem effect from the disaster. In
the third month, I lost my husband
because of the disaster. We also lost a lot of
income even the government give us $70
for compensating the loss of our family. I
lost my left hand, and my ear. It makes
me can't workany more. I am lucky that
the month after the disaster, I can start
my own business. I got twice income more
than the past even I lost some part of body
by the help from the international
organization. I lost my husband, I lose
my ear, and I lost my hand, but I will
never lose my soul and goal

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- What is your inspiration?


Katu : I have children, they are my life.
Because of them, I can do everything to
make them happy and proud of me as their
mother. I also have my parents who always
by my side. I can't stop working until
they are all living comfortably.
- How is your life now?
Katu: It is much better than the past.
Before I always told myself that I cant do
anything but now I can. My children can
get education. My parents don't
- Who is the person start thinking to
migrate to Kampot?
GF : Moolhor, father, started to migrate to
Kampot. He planned about this for many
months already. I was so sad that he was
passed away before he saw our successful.
GM : He had many expectation for our
future.
- At first, did you agree to migrate to
Kampot?
GM : I totally disagree because I think our
life is not that bad, but when I see he
trying so much, I know he does everything
because he wants us to be happy . No one
wants to live in poor life and also he is.

need to work every day. We have food. We


have house. We have many things more
than the past and I sure that our life will
get better and better by the time pass by.
- Do you have anything to tell the person
who are now dishearten?
Katu : I believe if we tried our best, we can
do what we want. I believe that everyone
has their own spirit to develop their lifes
quality but it depends on do we really put
enough effort on it.

past. When I see my mother or my


brother work very hard just for make our
family's quality better, I'm very proud
of them and I want to help them as much
as I can.
M : Of course we were, but it was just the
past. When I see my mother or my
brother work very hard just for make our
family's quality better, I'm very proud
of them and I want to help them as much
as I can.

- Have you ever feel tired or discouraged?


GF : No mater how hard or tired it is, but
when I see our beautiful future, it's all
gone.
GM : Of course we were, but it was just the

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- Do you satisfy in your life now?


GM : It is much better than I have
thought. I'm very happy to see my
grandchild go to school. They look very
happy even they lost their father. It is not
easy to pass that time but we can do it
and continue his goal to make it
successful. I believe that Moolhor looks at
us from the sky and prays for us.
- Now, do you feel happy comparing to
the past?
F : Yes, I do. I want to say thanks to my
mom and dad. They did their best even I
lost my father because of disaster, but he
will always in my heart and be my
inspiration to make our family life
better and better. I'm miss him very
much.

- After migrating to Kampot, what


are the changes in your life?
GF : At first, We have to work and can't
get any education. But in last 3
months, my mother sends me to school.
Even though I need to work in the
weekend but I'm still happy with my
life. I just want to go to school, and now
I am.
GM : Our brother is working aboard
and never come back. He works and
send us money to go to school or other
expenses. When we came to Kampot, we
earn more money. Now, we can eat meat
and we have concrete house. It is much
better than I had imagined.

note* GF = grandfather, GM = grandmother, M = male child, F = female child

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10

Journey to Kampot Facts


and Morals Sum Up
According to the six
months of observation,
we have found and
discovered many th
ings. We would not be
able understand poor
people, if we did not
visit
Kampot
in
Cambodia so we publish
this article to influence
and inspire everyone.
We want people to
understand that while
we live in a luxury and
comfortably life style,
there are many groups
of people who facing the
poverty and scarcity
which are so tough.
Poverty affect people in
rural Cambodia in
many
ways.
For
instance, because of
poverty they are not be

able to have proper meal,


clean water, nice shelter,
education, health checkup and even any
money. These groups of
people
are
all
struggling.

We,
the
journalist,
learned that choices are
the
most
important
thing of our life. Good
choice makes good result
but bad choice makes
bad outcome. Sometime
when we want to buy
something, maybe we
just use a second to
decide whether we

should buy that object


or not. But for poor
people, they have to
consider repeating their
decision again and
again to make one
choice. Rural people
have to make choice
wisely because a small
mistake from making
decision could affect
their finance. At least,
we hope this article will
inspire or motivate all
readers to look back to
themselves and start to
compare and appreciate
what we have and what
we get because there are
many people who do not
have any opportunity
or any chance like we
have.

By : Kannicha Eksuwancharoen , Laksika TaweeWattanakitborvon


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11

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