Delegation from ELCA pays a two-day field visit to learn about LWD’s program
Kampong Chhnang (Feb 16, 2016) – A delegation from Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) paid a two-day field visit from Feb 15-16 to two of LWD’s target areas in Kampong Speu and Kampong Chhnang provinces, aiming to learn about LWD’s program as well as the living conditions of the poor in rural Cambodia.
The delegation, which was comprised of ELCA Vice President and senior executives and ELCA’s influential supporters, also aimed to monitor the impact of the ELCA-supported Post-Social Land Concession Livelihood Development Project (PSLCLDP) which has been implemented by LWD since May 2015.
On the first day, the delegation, led by Rev. Dr. Y. Franklin Ishida, Director for Asia and the Pacific, ELCA, and accompanied by LWD Executive Director Min Sor, paid their visit to Thpong district of Kampong Speu and met with community representatives, including agriculture cooperative and pre-school children and teacher, and water management committee to learn about their success and challenges they are facing.
On the second day, the delegation met with the communities who resettled in late 2012 on the new land in three of the four newly-established villages in Sameakki Meanchey district of Kampong Chhnang where the PSLCLDP is being implemented. The land was granted by the government under its Social Land Concession Project, funded by Japan Social Development Fund through World Bank and implemented by LWD. The project ended in 2014.
Speaking to the communities in Kiri Akphivoath, one of the four villages, at the village meeting hall, Rev. Daniel Rift, Director for ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal sincerely expressed his love and compassion for all the poor families who are facing challenges in their resettlement.
“We hope to stand with you and share together in the difficult times, but in the wonderful ways that you have made this your home. We are very pleased and our hearts are touched to see the children in school and the fields cleared and the garden is growing. We would continue to like to hear how your life is going, where you are finding hope as you make this your home,” Rev. Daniel said.
At the resettlement areas, the delegation also met with a farmer who grew cassavas on her newly-cleared land, farmer who received a bio-gas digester and disabled family who raises cows, and examined the community pond which was under construction.
Carlos E. Peña, ELCA Vice President, said he was most impressed by the people he met, the stories he was told. “It’s good to see that, to see their smile and to see so much hope in these people’s faces.”
“I will take what I have seen and the stories that I’ve heard and take them back to my church, bishop, church council to see how we can be more supportive of the work,” he said.
PSLCLD is a three-year project, aiming to improve the livelihood of the SLC communities. The project cost USD 770,000 and it will be completed in April 2018. Major activities of the project included (i) Supporting for land clearance, (ii) Conducting water surveys, (iii) Establishing Farmer Field Schools, (iv) Establishing Community Based-Organizations, (v) Providing training for Village Health Support Groups, (vi) Providing training for new teachers, (vii) Introducing green energy (solar lanterns, bio-gas, etc).