Of finance and futures

It wasnít easy for me to cancel the employment of such a tremendously friendly man. Back then however, our second caretaker, Mr. Da Wet, was almost deaf in his left ear and not fit for his job anymore. His salary was $15 US a month for supervising the school building. At that time we were not able to pay him more. In my country, in which poverty is so rampant, $15 was a huge support for his family. I felt a sense of sadness among our team and asked them for advice. It was suggested that we could buy his daughter a weaving chair so she could work silk. The costs of the chair could be paid back by Mr. Da Wet within the next few years. We indeed put this idea into action, and with a lot of success. Our former employee and his whole family now work as independent weavers, and earn more than before!

Hi-Khan Truong, Hamburg


Die Seidenwebekunst in Takeo hat noch viel Potenzial
The Cambodian economy is very skewed. While in the cities some people become rich very quickly, most Cambodians work very hard and still do not have enough at the end of the day. Many rice farmers are suffering from over-priced seed stock, poor harvests and a corrupt administration. For labourers also surviving is just as hard because sophisticated and expert service is much too expensive for most of the Cambodians. Merchants are opening localised markets with tiny trading capital and industry hardly exists. Many women from the Takeo Province work in the garment industry centralised around Phnom Penh. There they work 50 hours or more a week and earn more than some, but still not enough to afford more than the most basic of lifestyles. Tourism canít yet nourish all those that put their high hopes into it either.
All of this is worth moaning about, but we donít want to paint everything black. Everywhere there are ideas and initiatives. The art of silk weaving has a lot of potential, tourism is taking off and with the extension of infrastructure capacity chances for trade growth are improving. We want to be partners with all those for whom aid can be an impulse to find their own strong footing. Whether we like it or not the fight for health, education and security in todayís Cambodia is the second step. The first must be to relieve crippling poverty to create the material conditions for a life with dignity and self-determination.
Our efforts in promoting education and economic growth both have the same aim: to encourage and enable people to take their own fate in the own hands. We see our education and training programs for young Cambodians in this perspective. We want to support people with our advice, contacts and money for expanding their own plans. The courage and skills are not enough. Thereís also a need for financial means and exciting chances for the future.

In several projects we are providing means, for example in the Fieldwork Project, where we have provided skilled labour and machinery that farmers can hire at fair costs to increase the yield of their land. With bridges financed from donations they can dig irrigation trenches and still easily access the fields. In the future we want to start a micro-loan program to help empower people with their own initiatives.  Currently we are engaged in a silk weaving project where local weavers are given the chance to acquire  knowledge, encouraged to use and perfect the traditional natural dying methods and to produce quality silk fabrics which can be sold.
Along with the engagement of members and donors, it is important for Sorya e.V. to have a solid base to enable future activities. The enterprise to export Cambodian silk will give Sorya a firm footing, and itís income should provide structural improvement for the Health sector and support the local economy.
Because we prefer to employ, train and support young people, we are a spring-board into their professional life. Some of our students and staff are already in high demand. Helping someone to help themselves is a good way. We want to help unleash their skills, provide financial means and exciting chances for the future so that Cambodians can enjoy a nation that they have created in full bloom.