Heartprint Community Support Centre is all about creating opportunity not dependency. We want to help people learn new skills and also increase their ability, confidence, and self-worth, enabling people to take control of their own futures.
Though our main activities are providing education, housing and awareness, operating in a poor village means that we get people in real crisis coming to us for assistance: (no money, no food, no baby milk, sickness, family bereavement etc). We offer help through our Community Support program where we can, but we also strive to ensure our support doesn't make people more dependent on aid and become even less able to take care of themselves and their families.
It is planned through our education and support programs to give opportunity for families to become self-sufficient. Helping to break the cycle of poverty that runs across much of rural Cambodia. We offer a broad range of programs to cater to all family's circumstances ensuring longevity to the family.
The community support centre offers accommodation to volunteers visiting Cambodia giving families access to English speaking experiences. Volunteers will not only contribute to the centre through their accommodation fee but will also be on hand to help out with the running of the programs as well as the packaging and distribution of care packages.
By making a donation to Heartprint House you are not only making a donation to the ongoing costs of running the Community Support Centre you are also contributing to sustain the programs below.
Chicken and Egg program
Although 80% of Cambodian people are farmers, their agricultural technical skills are poor. The agricultural sector including, fishing, farming, plantation and animal raising is still weak because of lack of techniques.
Chicken raising is one of the most popular additional jobs for Cambodians but the income from this is still low because the villagers have poor technical skills. Little is understood in how to prevent their chickens from diseases, how to care for their chickens, how to make their chicken grow quickly and produce eggs many times during the year…etc. By giving the right training and support to the villagers we aim to improve their farming skills and make them self-sustainable.
The practice of providing vaccines, medicines and the knowledge of how to separate the small chickens from the hens by creating a source of heat can encourage hens to provide eggs at a greater rate. This along with the correct housing and feed for the chicken’s will help establish a successful chicken farm.
A chicken coop and chicken breeding program will be put in place at Heartprint house.
- Families will receive training on how to care for their chickens.
- A chicken coop to house up to 20 chickens will be supplied and built.
- 6 laying hens will be supplied.
- Ongoing support and training will be provided through Heartprint house
Community Garden and Nursery
During the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the economic program involved an all-out push to build capacity for growing and exporting rice. This saw land clearance and forced labour - farming families were forced to clear their diverse crops and instead plant rice for exporting. The agenda forced most families into poverty and hunger – they no longer had a diverse range of nourishing fruit and vegetables and most of the rice they grew was exported. Over time, it also caused the loss of vital food growing skills. Self-sufficiency became a lost art.
Over three decades after the regime’s collapse, almost 50% of vegetables consumed in Cambodia are imported from Vietnam. The shortage of locally-produced vegetables means that Cambodian families are forced to pay higher prices for vegetables. Since poor households can spend on average 70% of their income on food, the import trend creates an unhealthy reliance on fish and rice for daily nutrition. In addition, these families have little ability (after purchasing food) to cope with sickness, natural disasters, or other emergencies, which can push them further into food insecurity.
The community garden project aims to reduce the reliance on imported food by providing the lost skills and tools needed to grow their own nutritious food using sustainable growing methods. By increasing their food security. The project helps communities become self-sufficient, saves money and provides community members with a healthier and more diverse diet.
The project’s environmental benefits:
- Reduction in environmental impacts of food transport as more food is grown locally and not transported from Thailand or Vietnam.
- Unused land or land that was previously used for mono-crops (e.g. rice production) is converted to diverse organic agricultural land where the health of the soil is improved.
- Food gardens become more resilient to climatic changes. There is an abundance of water one season and none the next. Teaching the communities permaculture and sustainable irrigation methods allows them to effectively manage their food gardens throughout the seasons, giving them a steady supply of food throughout the year.
- A healthier and more diverse diet.
- Income savings as less food needs to be purchased.
- Income savings as organic agriculture does not require extra inputs such as fertiliser and seeds - compost is created using organic matter and seeds are saved for planting in subsequent seasons.
- Securing income generation for families through the sale of extra produce.
- Develop a community garden and seedling nursery at Heartprint house.
- Provide training on market gardening practices and how to raise seedlings.
- Supply farmers with seedlings to start their own gardens.
- Include grown produce in care packages