Thorn Yar and her family have hope they never had before for a different future.
Thorn Yar, 23, and her husband Yaw Laus, 26, are just beginning their life together and are starting their own family. They live with Yar’s parents in Kseit Borey. Her parents moved here in 2006 when they learned they could receive land and had hope to build a different life.
Since Yar has lived in Kseit Borey, she and her family have struggled to survive. They had land, but they were poor, and so they could not clear and plough the land while they were trying to feed themselves. Laus & Yar’s father often worked in the jungle cutting wood in exchange for small amounts of cash and rice or to sell in the local market as firewood. This is dangerous and difficult work, and they would often be gone for 2-3 weeks at a time. The rest of the family searched for food and water; sometimes Yar would also have to work as a day labourer making as little as $1.25 a day. Using the small amount of land that they were able to clear and plough, they grew rice, but it was never enough to eat and sell in order to make progress; in this way the family was trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Now life is very different for Yar and her family! Since receiving access to clean water and their water buffalo, they have been able to make big changes. With the help of their buffalo, they have cleared & ploughed a large area of land and the family now grows lots a of rice and has a garden as well, where they grow cassava, corn, and other vegetables all year-round. The water buffalo also produces manure and the family received training on how to best use it to make their crops flourish. They now have enough food to eat and to sell.
Today Yar & Laus’ baby is going to come into a world of opportunities that Yar & Laus never had. The family plans to keep expanding their garden and grow peanuts and mung beans. Yar is saving for a motorbike which will allow her to go further to sell their crops for more. Yar has long dreamt of building a new house for her own family, but now that dream is possible. The future is bright for Yar & her family!