Meet the Sim family! The first of five families to benefit from our off-grid aquaponics program.
Mr. Sim is the deputy chief of Smach village in the Sen Sok District where our Community First Campus is located. As village chief, Mr. Sim's job is to look after and protect the village. People come to him for all their needs, such as, settling disputes, ordering items from neighboring cities, and filing paper work. His wife, Mrs. Sim, stays at home with their two young daughters and two grandchildren. The couple also has another daughter who does not currently live at home with the family. She and her husband left to join the thousands of other Cambodians who have migrated to Thailand to find work since jobs are so hard to come by in the country side.
For those who stay in the village, rice farming and raising animals to sell is the main source of income. The Sim family owns a few rice paddies located on the other side of the village. Currently, they are able to harvest from their fields three times year. Most of the families in Smach village, like most Cambodian farmers, focus their cultivation on rice, leaving them to depend on a trucks and motorbikes that bring produce in to the village every morning. Thailand being the origin of most of the produce.
When we asked Mr. Sim about the trucks, he told us,
“We rarely bought vegetables from the trucks or the motor because those vegetable are grown by using a lot of chemical.”
So instead of buying fruits and vegetables from the vendors, their only other option is to go to the nearest market in Kralanh which is 11.7 miles (18.8km) south east of Smach village.
After talking with the Sim family, they have welcomed the idea of aquaponic farming on their land. And now, with the help of our donors, they have a self-sustaining aquaponic system that will help them produce high yields nutritious foods, raise fish in a healthy environment, and save water throughout the year. All with the knowledge that their food wasn’t grown with chemicals or pesticides, and their plants and fish are have been thriving in nothing but fresh water. Meaning better health for them and their children.
Over the past few weeks we have been setting up and cycling the system behind their home.
Today, the fish tank is stocked up with tilapia and the grow beds are flourishing. After four weeks we had our first harvest of morning glory from the system!
We taught Savoy, the youngest of the daughters, how to harvest and re-seed the grow beds. At sixteen she is still in school, but she takes time out of her day to learn about aquaponics with us. We hope that this will empower her to teach others how to use and maintain a system and be a confident leader in her community.
Savoy's favorite morning glory dish is fried morning glory with pork.
In an interview with Mr. and Mrs. Sim, we asked what benefits they see coming from the aquaponic system at their home, and they are both very hopeful for the future.
Thank you to all our supporters who make this program possible. Together we will build a more sustainable future for the people in Sen Sok.
If you would like to contribute to the Community First programs in Smach village and/or support our team that makes this all possible, please click on the DONATE button below.