FIDR is a non-governmental organization working to support children in developing countries and people affected by disasters.

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Understand the Feeling of Seedlings using Paper and Instant Noodles@at Rice Planting Workshop

How did we conduct the project endline survey?

gFood and Nutrition Security Projecth in Kampong Chhnang province which aimed to improve the living condition of people in the community has completed most of its activities in March 2021. Prior to its completion, in order to see the changes through this project, FIDR conducted the project endline survey in cooperation with local authorities.

The total number of expected respondents for this survey were nearly 1,300, so we hired 17 farmers from the project target area to be the surveyors and provided the training to them in order to introduce our questionnaire and strengthen their capacity. What we tried hard the most is to encouraged them to obtain accurate and true data. During the survey, they shared with us that they had difficulties such as how to make smooth communication with respondents to get their answers. In fact, some of them received the unwelcome attitude from respondents.

In order to overcome these difficulties, they made high commitment to improve themselves through conducting the self-reflection as well as team reflection. On the final day of survey, surveyors shared that it was a good oppounity that they could learn how to make the effective communication for obtaining the true and accurate answer. Besides, they also said that they learned how to cooperate with each other among the team to overcome the difficulties.

As the result, the project endline survey was successfully completed through the strong cooperation between FIDR and local authorities, and high commitment from our surveyors. The data obtained through this endline survey will be utilized for the project final evaluation which has been postponed since March due to the COVID-19. Once the situation gets better, we hope that we can reflect the project based on this data and extract the lesson learnt for our future project.


Understand the Feeling of Seedlings using Paper and Instant Noodles@at Rice Planting Workshop

Agricultural Cooperatives started using Facebook for marketing

gFood and Nutrition Security Projecth in Kampong Chhnang province which aimed to improve the living conditions of people in the community has supported 4 Agricultural Cooperatives (AC) in the area to strengthen the capacities on organizational management and business operation.

Throughout the project, FIDR provided various trainings to the committee members of 4 ACs such as bookkeeping, production and production monitoring, planning and budgeting. As one of them, FIDR conducted a series of training on marketing of ACfs products and at its final training in 2021, FIDR and trainer encouraged each AC to advertise their products by Facebook as it is the most popular social media in Cambodia.

At the training, AC first tried Facebook Live which allows them to present their products and respond to the questions or comments from viewers on time. However, they found out that the internet connection is too weak so that AC started to post the pictures and videos of their products on their own Facebook page 2 to 3 times a month.

As a result, AC received many purchase orders from new customers and the number of market partners also increased. Some ACs also signed the contract agreement with several buyers for supplying the products on a regular basis.

FIDR thinks that nowadays, social media marketing plays the key role in Cambodia and in fact, its importance has been increasing due to the pandemic of COVID-19. We hope that AC committees strengthen their marketing more and more, and develop themselves to contribute to the better lives of people in the community.


Understand the Feeling of Seedlings using Paper and Instant Noodles@at Rice Planting Workshop

Hidden effects of the project

FIDR has been conducting many trainings for farmers in Kampong Chhnang Province in an effort to increase agricultural productivity, improve hygienic habit as well as strengthen the capacity of agricultural cooperatives.

Whenever FIDR conducts the training, we have provided handout or notebook to attendees for taking notes about what they learned. However, we also knew that some participants couldnft read nor write because they dropped out the primary school at the lower grade. In order to motivate them to improve their reading and writing, our project assistant always helped and encouraged them to keep practicing reading the lesson and taking a note into their notebooks. Through their steady effort, we observed that their reading and writing skill have been improved greatly.

One of the farmers in Choang Moang commune shared that her life has been changed since she joined FIDRfs project . Before joining FIDRfs training, she couldnft write and never recorded income and expense in her family. However, now she can write with less mistakes and she can even take a minute in the training or meeting in the community. She also started to record income and expense every month to control the cash flow. Changes are brought about not only in her family life but also in her role in the community. After understanding about the community development concept through our activities, she always shares her knowledge and experiences with other people and plays a leading role in the community.

We hope that even the project finishes, the people can maximize their potential by utilizing their knowledge and skill acquired through this project for contributing to the development of their community.


COVID-19 Prevention Campaign — The Importance of a Hygienic Lifestyle

In Cambodia, some measures such as immigration restrictions, school closures have been taken to contain the spread of new coronavirus since the middle of March. Domestic travel restriction has also been imposed since 10 April. 122 infected cases of COVID -19 were reported as of 13 April, however, the spread of infection became concerned because the medical system does not properly function in the country.

Under the circumstances, FIDR had to temporarily halt the project activities since the end of March. When FIDR decided to halt the project, only one day was left for staff to leave the project site. Before leaving the project site, FIDR staffs wanted to do something necessary for villagers within a limited time.

From March, the government has transmitted information about preventing COVID-19 infection to the public through Facebook, TV, and radio. However, in rural areas, some people didn't get enough information because they cannot read, or they donft have TV or mobile phone. Moreover, inaccurate information about COVID-19 was circulated, which made people feel fearful.

Therefore, FIDR decided to conduct the "COVID-19 prevention campaign" to broadly spread accurate information on COVID-19 and encouraged villagers to take preventive measures. On that day, our staffs drove around the villages together with Commune Councilors, Village chiefs, and the police by tuk-tuks, tractors, and motorbikes. The Commune Councilors strongly conveyed the message to the villagers not to be afraid of COVID-19, but to actively prevent it. This attempt raised the awareness of the villagers about the importance of prevention and it became customary to take preventive measures such as hand-washing.

The spread of COVID-19 hit the peak in mid- March and no new cases have been reported since mid-August. FIDR has resumed the project from the middle of June. At this time, people in the project site are returning to their normal lives. However, they gradually lose attention to hygiene. Mao Sugita, project manager, said, "We have recommended hand washing as one of the preventive measures even before the spread of coronavirus, and now, it has become more important to make a habit of practicing a hygienic lifestyle. We need to make a change in the villagersf behavior", for example, through conducting and giving guidance on handwashing and hygiene at all the meetings and trainings.

Commune Councilors, Village chiefs, and the police drove around the villages to encourage villagers to take preventive measures against new coronavirus.Commune Councilors, Village chiefs, and the police drove around the villages to encourage villagers to take preventive measures against new coronavirus.

Villagers were washing hands before the workshops. Villagers were washing hands before the workshops.


Understand the Feeling of Seedlings using Paper and Instant Noodles@at Rice Planting Workshop

Understand the Feeling of Seedlings using Paper and Instant Noodles@at Rice Planting Workshop

Planting rice seedlings in a bundle is the conventional style of farming in rural area of Cambodia. When farmers are told for the first time that SRI methods require planting only one or two seedlings at a time to gain more crop yields, they canft help feeling afraid to change their practice from the familiar way to the new one. To ease their anxiety, the trainer of SRI exerts creativity in the workshops. One of the unique strategies employs paper and instant noodles. Can you imagine how to use these items?

To begin with, five sheets of paper on which numbers from one to five are written respectively, are put on the ground evenly spaced apart. The same number of persons as the numbers are requested to stand right on the sheets. The person standing on the sheet goneh can occupy the space alone freely while five people on the sheet gfiveh struggle to remain at their place squeezing one another with uncomfortable faces. The trainer asks, gCan you feel the wind?h gCan you breathe easily?h Then the trainer distributes one pack of instant noodle to each group and asks, gHave you eaten enough?h

Obviously, those on goneh and gtwoh reply that they enjoy breezy air and fill their stomachs in contrast to the other groups. Instant noodles represent nutrients and fertilizer necessary for the growth of seedlings.

In the end, the trainer says, gThe seedlings will feel as youfve felt, wonft they?h At the moment, the faces of the participants brighten up. They understand the SRI methods by their own bodies. For introducing new agricultural methods, theories perceived by brain alone do not work well; the project actively resorts to various senses of our body.


The first harvest festival was hold

Our first harvest festival

In 26th December 2017, we could see the smiles appearing in faces of many farmers who are the target beneficiaries of our community development project in Kampong Chhnang Province, Cambodia. It is no wonder because that day was the first harvest festival in the target area of the community development project which has been implementing since this physical year.

Although it had light drizzle from the morning, 183 people came to the festival, including directors of Provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Provincial Department of Health, and other government officers. In the festival, we shared the results of harvesting rice in this year and conducted the exhibition of some agricultural products, such as vegetables.

The directors of two Provincial Departments had good assessment about FIDRfs project and said that they will continue to cooperate with the project team closely in next activities. In addition, they encouraged farmers to join the project activities more proactively. This project has expanded its target areas to one more district in the third phase. Key farmers of the previous phase were also invited to this festival. This was a great opportunity for the farmers of new and previous phases of the project to know each other and build a cooperative relationship.


Letfs clean the village!

Letfs clean the village!

In the beginning of November, under the strong sunlight in the dry season, the cleanup activity was conducted in Kampong Chhnang Province with the aim of improving the sanitary condition in the community, with the slogan gletfs live cleanly, have a clean meal and drink clean waterh.

If you have ever been to Cambodia, you may know that garbage disposal is one of the problems in this country. Commonly, household garbage is not managed nor separated properly. In addition, there were no cleanup activities in the community so far. You can see some kinds of garbage, such as plastic snack packages or empty plastic bottles which are thrown everywhere, on the road or in the gardens. Therefore, we decided to conduct cleanup activity to clean the village first before implementing other activities, because the sanitary condition of food, clothing and shelter are important on peoplefs health.

The activity was led by a mayor of the village holding a speaker on his hand. Some people carried garbage bags while some held the tongs to pick up garbage. Children were so interested in this activity because they had never experienced this kind of activity before. As soon as their mothers found garbage and pointed at it, they rushed toward it and pick up. The villagers picked up all the garbage including some being almost buried in the ground or under the water channels. After one round of the village, the garbage bags were full and heavy, and villagers were soaked in sweat.

Some of the villagers said that, gI didnft know that living cleanly is related to our healthh, gI have never cared about scattered garbage in the village until now, but today I realized that cleanup activity can refresh my mind. I will clean up my house when I come back home.h

It is not easy to change someonefs life habit. There is still a long way to completely decrease the garbage in the village, but we found from the villagersf face expression after the activity that we already had to a good start.

We will continue to support this project so that this one step for the improvement of the sanitary condition in the community will be proceeded further in the future.


Leadership Training: gWhat is your dream?h

A hope seen in the farmer's challenge

Here is a farmer who launched on a new challenge on his own.
'In the beginning, I've failed again and again,' says 32 year-old, Mr. Sophat, a committed farmer who lives in Kampong Chhnang Province with his wife and two children. Since he first attended the training provided by FIDR in 2012, he has not only been following the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method and raised poultry and hog, but also been actively sharing his experiences with the other farmers to disseminate such techniques.

Recently, we were amazed at his accomplishment; he designed and created an artificial incubator for himself!

'No one in the village was hatching chicks artificially then. If you want chicks, you had to wait them to be hatched naturally, or go all the way to the market to get them. Naturally I thought that, if I succeeded in hatching of many chicks simultaneously, it would surely afford me an opportunity of business.'

Mr. Sophat thus determined to attempt the artificial incubation. Two years ago, FIDR organized the study tour, and he joined and visited the farmers in neighboring district to see how artificial chick hatching had been carried out there. Then, last year, through the technical training on artificial incubation which FIDR conducted in response to a strong request of the farmers, he learned the process of poultry hatching.

Then, Mr. Sophat has set out for creation. At first, his attempt kept failing, with difficulty of controlling temperature and humidity inside the incubator. At one time, more than the half of the eggs did not hatch. During such process, FIDR staff always encouraged him.

Mr. Sophat hanged tough. He ceaselessly observed the condition of eggs and continuously modified system of temperature and humidity regulatory; a year after, he finally created the incubator!

Presently, Mr. Sophat hatches 200 chicks a month with his incubator. The sale in the village generates approximately 200 USD per month. In the meanwhile, as his incubator gained local popularity, he now takes several make-to-orders each month, at price of 150 ? 350 USD per apparatus.

We, FIDR, have been supporting the farmers to make their life better on their own. And his effort has brought hope to all of us.

eThough I had many failures, I've never given up because I saw the chance to improve the life of family and community in creation of the incubator.'

His words encouraged the FIDR staff.


Leadership Training: gWhat is your dream?h

Community Supports Child's Growth

At FIDRes project sites in Kampong Chhnang Province, the rate of malnourished population among under five years old is high. In order to improve mothers' knowledge and consciousness about nutrition, we have been conducting the various activities such as instruction on how to cook complementary diets and measurement of children's growth. In addition to normal trainings and workshops, we sometimes visit each house to check child's nutritional status.

One day at the end of last year, FIDR staff and volunteers of health promotion activities holding weight scale visited a house. At the house, a child who had been identified as undernourished in May stayed at home with her grandmother who looked after her because her mother was out to work at a factory.

We asked the grandmother the child's daily diet. She replied with concerned face, gWe have cooked complementary diets more frequently since having informed that she was undernourished at the growth measurement in May; however, she often leaves food and doesn't seem to grow ---we all are worried about it.h After hearing her anxiety, we measured her weight again, but could not see clear improvement.

FIDR staff and the volunteers suggested her to cook complementary diet so that her granddaughter would have more appetite to complete the served meal; in particular, to change recipes every day, to avoid strong taste, and to make food colorful by using eggs, carrots and others. After giving those suggestions, FIDR staff and the volunteers promised to visit them again.

Seeking to strengthen the system of community to support families that have undernourished children as reported above, FIDR has been setting occasions for information sharing among health volunteers and health center staff, in which all the participants can know respective children's nutritional statuses. It is expected that the health volunteers in each village will develop their capacity and lead home visits.

FIDR will continuously work to build communities where residents support one another, and children can grow up healthily.

*Complementary diet is porridge with various ingredients cooked especially for infants from six months old to two years old to make up for the lack of nutrients taken only by breast milk. As it is effective to improve nutrition of child, Ministry of Health recommends the nation to practice it.


Leadership Training: gWhat is your dream?h

Leadership Training: gWhat is your dream?h

The leadership training began with a question gWhat is your dream?h

The participants of the training consisted of key farmers and health volunteers whom we want to become the leaders to disseminate the activities of our project in the region. These participants pondered the question with a little bewilderment --- they said gIt was something I haven't thought of because I'm too busy to earn a living day after day.h They also had discussion and presentation about gthe meaning to have a dream,h gthe idealized vision of my own,h and gvalue of life.h

The participants passionately talked and shared openly about their dreams with others. gMy dream is to buy a cultivator to plow the large paddy,h gbuild a big chicken coop,h gnone of my family gets sick and all live happily,h and gboth our village and I get prosperous.h

The next question was gWhat can you do to achieve your dream?h Positive answers were raised such as gI can't do it by myself but surely possible if others offer helph and gwe can do it by working together.h Those opinions unanimously admitted the significance to promote empathy among people around them to realize their dreams.

A leader is a person who, with his/her own dream and vision for the future, willingly takes action to motivate others. When a number of people become such leaders, more changes will be produced in the village. FIDR has been conducting trainings five times per year in order to bring up people to cause changes in the villages.

gI have found that I can have a dream not only while I'm asleep but also when I'm awake,h said some participant after the training. Seeing their happy faces, we renewed our determination to help them realize their dreams.


Learning among local farmers - Practicing SRI farming method

Learning among local farmers | Practicing SRI farming method

July is rice planting season in Cambodia. Rainwater is utilized in 75% of rice fields in this country for cultivation, and farmers plant seedlings in the fields from low to high- elevation as rainwater increases. As we promote SRI farming method, we conducted rice cultivation training from June to July this year.

910 farmers in total participated in trainings at locals. As instructors were youths in the same village and well known to trainees, they could raise questions at ease and the trainings were progressed in harmonious atmosphere.

Farmers, who are used to their conventional ways in planting rice seedlings in a bundle and randomly, are hesitant to apply the SRI farming method which requires planting single seedling at a time at regular spacing. Rice fields of young farmers practicing SRI farming method will be good examples for those who are reluctant to apply it.

Not a few farmers decide to apply SRI farming method when they see actual rice fields and the results. It is likely to see an increase in number of young farmers who will practice SRI farming method this year, too.