Thailand: helping families develop alternative sources of income

Sombat’s family was one of 287 families in 2014 whose income improved in the Fang project in Thailand. World Vision provides the opportunity for families with sponsored children to participate in community meetings that help them find alternative sources of income.

For the Fang project, community members were trained in fish farming, pig raising, raising egg-laying hens and mushroom cultivation. World Vision also helped the community form 30 savings groups, encouraging members to save for the benefits of their children and the wider community.

Sombat wants to share her story …

“I am Sombat. I have three family members; my husband, Somchai, and my daughter, Nong Fon, who is 16-years-old. She studies at grade 10 in the district school.

Nong Fon is a World Vision sponsored child in Fang project since 2007; she was at that time studying at Grade 3 in the village school.

I made a living as a wage earner from general odd-jobs in the village, while my husband was hired in construction work with uncertain income depending on availability of jobs.

Both my husband and myself would want our daughter to have a good education. However, both of us had to struggle to find income for expenses in the home.

We did not have savings, as the money we earned had to pay for the household expenses.

Furthermore, I was not in a good health. I suffered from “bone pressing nerve” and could not work hard [doing labour intensive activities].

Even some days, we did not have eaten three meals because we did not have money to buy food.

When our child, Nong Fon, received sponsorship, at the beginning, World Vision supported [us] with educational necessities. The assistance included school uniforms, school shoes, socks, learning supplies, and warm clothes, which has greatly reduced our family’s burden of expenses, enabling our family to have some money for the household’s expenses.

World Vision held meetings to build the understanding for sponsored children’s families concerning savings and basic knowledge on additional income generating activities.

I applied for membership of the savings group and have been trained in raising egg-laying hens, along with being supplied with egg-laying hens for the family.

Through raising egg-laying hens, our family has collected eggs for our household consumption and some have been sold to earn income for family expenses. Some money has been spared for savings in the group.

I have currently been trained of basic knowledge in mushroom cultivation along with the supply of mushrooms. The caring approach and process is easier than raising egg-laying hens and is also not much of an energy-consuming job.

Now I can pick up mushrooms for selling at the market in the village every day. Some even come to buy mushroom at my house.

Sombat and her daughter with the mushrooms Sombat has been able to grow.

As a result, our family has money for expenses in our daily life and also has money to give to Nong Fon for going to school. In addition, our family has earned savings in the group as a reserved fund for other families as well.

Myself and my husband are very proud to have World Vision coming in to help our family, prompting us to have additional jobs that generate income for the family.

We are able to send our child to have education at a higher level as we have intended. I would like to thank World Vision again for coming in to help and support my family and others in the communities. This has empowered and enhanced my family to have a better life and living condition, and has made our family’s dream come true.”