One of our regular projects is to support CARE International’s Lend With Care initiative. Our members donate small amounts to a fund which provides loans to business projects in third world countries. Our latest loan went to Sokhun Thouk, a maize farmer in Cambodia, who is aiming to expand her business and number of employees.
At one of our meetings each month we invite those present to make a small donation – usually a pound or two – which we then add to a fund with which we make loans to third-world entrepreneurs through LendWithCare.
With repayments from prior loans adding to the funds available each month, we were able to loan £45 to Sokhun Thouk, a maize farmer in Cambodia. Our loan forms part of the £2,037.77 she has borrowed which will be repaid over the next two years.
Mrs. Sokhon is 39 years old and she has one child, aged 6 years old who is at school. She currently farms maize on four hectares of land. Like her villagers she can farm her maize twice a year and in a period of around just three months she can pick five tonnes of crops per hectare to sell. She also hires 10 villagers to assist her on picking the maize crops and each of them can earn $5 a day from this working activity. Her farming challenge is that the price of the crops is not very high, so sometimes she makes a profit but sometimes a loss from her farming. To farm her maize as regularly year she decided to take out this 24 month loan in order to purchase good quality seeds, pesticide and weed killer, and pay for the ploughing costs of the land (one hectare costs $60 to plough) and cover the labouring costs.