Better Lives was incorporated as a non-profit in 2011, and our major donor the WFCF private foundation had been supporting many of our partners since 2009. It is wonderful to think about the families and children our partners have helped in the last six years. Helping them move towards food and income self-reliance.
It is also wonderful to think of our partners and their staff moving along their own path to self-reliance. Acting as good examples to families who share the vision of self-reliance.
Please enjoy reading our impact measures and stories in this report, and our partners’ highlights of the year at the end of this report.
Most Impactful Implementation
Poun, his wife and four children are the second family to move into a Rent-to-own home on Peaksneng Thormacheat shop’s development lot. They love their new home and are able to maintain two productive organic vegetable gardens and raise two cows on their property.
Hosting Student Groups
Thirteen students and two teachers worked closely with the garden shop team to implement community projects including; compost & natural spray making, organic vegetable garden and family toilet building. The group also collaborated with a local teacher training college for interactive English teaching lessons and a football (soccer) game with local university students.
Path Stage: Access Resources
22 families received a consistent water supply and graduated to the next stage of Apply Knowledge to learn how to build and maintain an organic vegetable garden.
After 3 years of maintaining a productive vegetable garden, the father of the Msaranga family is finally seeing his biggest dream come true. His family now has affordable water piped directly to their home. This improvement will reduce their water bill by as much as 10,000 TZS (USD $5.00) per week, will provide a new source of income from selling water to neighbors, and enable the family to increase the size of their vegetable garden.
Path Stage: Apply Knowledge
66 families received organic vegetable garden training and graduated to the Strengthen Health stage because they are successfully maintaining their gardens and feeding their families consistently.
Wamukisa held their first organic agriculture training today. Over 20 families came out to attend the training, which focused on the benefits and basic concepts of soil nourishment.
Path Stage: Strengthen Health
73 families consistently earned income from selling surplus vegetables and graduated to the Earn Income stage.
Chea and his family work very hard to improve their lives. They have consistently maintained a productive garden, fattened pigs, raised cows, and are now farming fish.
They earn US$30 per month by selling vegetables from their garden and are eager to expand it further.
Path Stage: Earn Income
3 of the 7 graduating families have moved into rent-to-own homes.
40 families are saving money in order to qualify for an income generating loan.
11 families received income generating loans.
The Nhoung Veoun family earned US$400 net income from selling four pigs at their local market. They were able to gain this good price because of it being Cambodia’s second biggest religious holiday called Pchun Ben. A time to roast pigs!
Path Stage: Improve Home
4 graduating families have improved their homes so that they are now weather tight, have a constructed floor and electric light so that their children can do their homework and read at night.
Weun grew up in very poor living conditions which he believes attributed to the health and learning issues he experienced early in his life. He is determined to build a better living environment for his three young children by providing a home that is safe, secure and healthy.
Path Stage: Enhance Education
11 schools are working with our partners to provide almost 5,000 children with a safe and encouraging learning environment.
This includes infrastructure projects like water supply, toilets, wash basins and kitchens. These facilities and school breakfast improve the students’ health, attendance and attention in class.
Students and teachers at Mwangaria Primary School are happy to have a new kitchen that will improve the hygiene and efficiency of cooking school breakfast.
Lishe Bora implemented:
Lishe Bora shop’s relationship with the Mkyashi community grew by leaps and bounds this year. The shop-sponsored water project supplied nine families with home water connections and dozens more purchased water from the connected families, which reduced their walking time to collect water and water bill.
The shop helped organize over forty families into two community banking groups in Kirua and Mkyashi, so that they could save and borrow more easily. The shop’s new agricultural supply store has been well received by the community because it benefits local farmers because they now avoid trips to the local town and pay less for tools and agricultural inputs.
SODAT continued to focus on providing school breakfast in 2016. Kabalenzi, Mukibogoye, and Mukirehe Primary Schools all continued to receive nutritional breakfast flour throughout the year.
SODAT also collaborated with all three of those schools to build new fuel efficient stoves. The stoves reduce the economic and environmental costs of burning wood, and also reduce smoke in the cooking area which is important for the health of the cooks.
Mukibogoye Primary School is piloting SODAT’s “Grow Your Own Breakfast” program. SODAT helped the school plant 600 banana trees and expand their vegetable gardening area to 84 beds. They hope they have staged the people, processes, and parts for a successful 2017.
Tupendane turned its focus in 2016 to helping schools grow their own breakfast ingredients as part of a sustainable “Grow Your Own Breakfast” program.
6 schools continued to receive nutritional flour for school breakfast and 3 of those began a pilot program to grow their own breakfast through a mix of farming commodity crops like corn and beans, growing organic vegetables, and starting school banana plantations. Progress in 2016 including clearing land, digging wells, and expanding existing vegetable gardens.
Kahe Primary School school also received a new toilet, which Tupendane built with funds won at the Dar es Salaam Charity Goat Races, and Mwangaria Primary School received a new kitchen.
In 2016 Wamukisa completed Phase 1 of their community water project. They also offered training sessions about water harvesting and filtering water from cooking and cleaning for use irrigating gardens.
In total, 8 families started vegetable gardens with Wamukisa in 2016. Those families are working to achieve consistent harvests.
Wamukisa also started a commercial garden which is intended to contribute towards the team’s sustainability and also improve income earning opportunities for local families.
Healthy Life implemented:
This year Healthy life trained and assisted 17 families in building organic vegetable gardens. These families received regular mentoring which helped them maintain productive and healthy gardens.
The micro-loan program helped 6 families earn a profit from fattening and selling pigs and is receiving attention from the communities around Battambang.
The shop sold 12 tons of compost to local farms, helping to promote organic farming in the area.
Salee has renovated a guesthouse to accommodate groups of students and travelers where they will learn about the shop’s solutions to poverty and healthy living promotion.
This year Peaksneng Thormacheat Shop trained and assisted 28 families in building organic vegetable gardens. These families received regular mentoring which helped them maintain productive and healthy gardens.
The Rent-to-own program has received a lot of interest from the community, with 3 new homes built in 2016 and a number of applicants.
The shop plans to grow its own vegetable growing and to start an Eco-lodge for visitors to come and learn about sustainable solutions to poverty.