When Manna4Life first reflected on the injustice and extreme poverty that the villagers had experienced in their lives, we were struck by the parallels we could draw between their situation and two Greek words (Penas and Ptochos) to describe different types of poverty. The villagers of Tang Khiev have experienced both of these at one point or another:
Those in situations of extreme poverty, such as the villagers at the point of eviction, can feel shut off from the world around them. They often feel, based on the words and actions of many that the world views the poor as a class of people who have no skills to offer and whose opinions and voice do not count. Many of the villagers have taken this worldview to heart, and have incorporated it into their own self-concept, leaving them feeling completely hopeless about themselves and their situation.
At Manna4Life, we try not to make the mistaken assumption that many well intentioned people do – that is, thinking that we know what is best for the villagers. Instead we seek to engage them in conversation, listen to their opinions and thoughts and empower them to drive their own change.
This process has generated project ideas including education classes, such as: Cambodian Literacy, Gender Equality, Financial Management and Parenting courses as well as formal and informal meeting groups where community members meet to discuss a variety of topics and learn general life skills.
If you would like to contribute or fund one these courses please donate here and if you would like more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.