“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me… Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” – Matthew 25:35-40
The “Community Economic Development” project began as a response to the perceived economic needs among families of at-risk children. Many of these families have no source of income and those who do have some sort of income lack stability in that income. Businesses such as small shops and livelihoods like farming can provide that steady source of income but in an impoverished community, the barriers of entry into such fields are difficult to meet resulting in continued poverty. Kone Kmeng seeks to provide aid to families stuck in this system through supporting them financially. The typical fish farm costs around $50 total to start. Many stores ask for loans as small $50 as well that small amount can change a family’s future.
My name is Eng Seng and I’m 46 years old. My mother and daughter live with me. I worked as a tailor in my home and earned very little money, sometimes not even enough for us to buy food. I wanted to give up tailoring and go to work in Thailand. I found out about a workshop run by Pastor Phearum called Safe Migration Training. At the workshop I felt very encouraged and was able to receive a small loan for $50.00 which I used to buy a pig. When the pig was big enough I sold it and bought eight baby pigs. I took out a second loan of $150 and bought another sewing machine. My business grew so much I needed help. I hired two ladies to come and help me. I decided to take another loan of $350 to enlarge the shop and buy more pigs. My family situation has become better than before as I now can support my daughter to go to school. I did have to close the tailor shop for now due to decreased demand. I was able to use the profit from tailor shop and from selling the pigs to pay back the loan and buy more pigs. I now am raising twenty-three pigs. I’m so blessed with how my life has improved and want to thank Kone Kmeng for making it all possible.