One of the initiatives that we are most proud of is the work that we do with The Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT). We have donated a portion of every sale from our very first day of trading to CCT, right through to the $1 per transaction donation we make today.

This year CCT have launched a holiday campaign where they have asked 57 families in their community what they needed to become strong, resilient, and financially self-reliant. The model is an important one, so that the CCT can continue to help families move toward empowerment, rather than one of co-dependency.

Of the 57 families, we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on 12 of these stories in the lead up to the holidays, to convey and foster a better understanding of the work that CCT do as an organisation, as well as the life-changing impact donations over this period will have.

All 57 dreams are just as important as each other so we hope by highlighting a few, it may show you just how meaningful every dollar donated will be in making family’s wish a reality.






$425 for a BBQ food cart



“My mum needs a barbecue so she has enough money to cover our rent.”



Sen, 46, is a single mum to twins, Heng and Hang, 8-years-old.

Two years ago, Sen was in a very vulnerable situation. She had no money and couldn’t afford to feed Heng and Hang. The family were renting a small room but Sen wasn’t able to continue covering the rent. So Sen walked into our youth centre with Heng and Hang and asked our team for help.

CCT immediately enrolled Heng and Hang into our youth centre so they could access meals, hygiene and sanitation facilities, healthcare, education and professional supervision from CCT everyday. Because Heng and Hang were supervised and going to school, Sen had the time to work. CCT also covered the rent temporarily while Sen got back on her feet.

For work, Sen sells food at the market, including snacks like beef, chicken and fish. She transports her food by carrying it on her shoulders to the market and back everyday. Her work is difficult and laborious.

To make life easier, sell more product and earn more income, Sen wants her own barbecue food cart which she can transport around town when Heng and Hang are at school or the youth centre.





“If I had my own construction business I would have enough money to pay for my children’s education,” – Den.



Dad: Den – 50, Mom: Savern – 47

Children: Narak, Male – 18, Nin Male – 17, Minear Female – 8, Nen Female – 12

After getting a call to the hotline (the only child protection hotline in Battambang that is operated by CCT) we went to meet the family to see how we could help. Den and Savern didn’t have a stable income so their two eldest children quit school to work and help the family. The two youngest children didn’t have the school materials they needed (school bags, books, uniforms) so they weren’t attending school regularly.

CCT provided school materials for the children and helped the older children to access vocational training. Den and Nim (second eldest son) want to start their own small business in construction, but they need the tools and equipment to get the business up and running.

Den says, “I really like doing construction work and helping people build their houses. If I had my own equipment I could start my own business and work closely with my son. I could hire someone to help us and I will have a lot more income.”

Savern says that every night the family comes together to have dinner and talk about their day. “We have dinner together every night and we always have fun and laugh,” she said.





“I need a bicycle so I can get to and from school by myself and my grandma can work more.”



Mok, 18, lives with his grandparents. Mok’s parents left town to find work and left him in the care of his grandparents years ago.

Before meeting CCT, Mok was not attending school. His grandfather can’t work because of his age and health and his grandma collects bottles to sell to the recycling plant, earning the whole family less than $3 a day. On some days, the family didn’t even have one meal to eat. They also couldn’t afford school materials, so Mok stopped attending school altogether.

Mok’s Village Chief got in touch with CCT after seeing how much the family was struggling. Straight away, we helped Mok access our youth centre and began the process to re-enrol him back in public school. We also started supporting Mok and his grandparents with food and healthcare, ensuring their basic needs were met.

When Mok re-enrolled in school after missing a few years, he had to start in a lower grade to make up for the years missed. He is now 18-years-old and in year 11. He has nearly caught up to his peers his age. CCT has also supported him with extra classes to make up for his missed schooling.

Mok asked for a bicycle so he can get himself to school and not rely on his grandma to take him there and pick him up each day, meaning grandma would have more time to work to support the family. Mok says, “I can’t believe I can go back to school again. I will be so excited to have a bike so I can go to school every day.”

Grandma is still collecting bottles to recycle but has recently partnered with our family finance team to make plan on how she can generate more income with a less laborious job. She hopes to set up a small stall selling second hand shoes and bags soon.





“My family needs a bicycle so I can transport my siblings and I to school.”



Dad: Chhoun – 38, Mum: Sophy – 38, Navor – 14, Navy – 12, Chi Chi – 10

CCT met this family after the local school principal got in touch with his concerns for Navor, Navy and Chi Chi’s education. Chhoun and Sophy makes money for the family by fishing in the river and selling the fish at the local market. Their work is unstable and unpredictable. They make approximately $3 – $5 a day, which is not enough for their family of five.

After supporting the family with food supplies and helping the two younger children access our youth centre, our next step was to ensure the children were getting their education.

They had stopped going to school regularly and were all at risk of dropping out entirely. Once children drop out of school, it is so much harder to re-enrol them again. We had to work fast to make sure the kids stayed in school. We supported the children with the school materials they needed, such as books, pencils, uniforms, school shoes and backpacks.

Navor said it was difficult for him and his siblings to get to school on time as their parents were at work in the morning. “It is hard to get to school everyday, sometimes we are late to school. If I have a bicycle, I will be able to get me and my siblings to school on time. I think our studies will be better than it is now,” says Navy.


$389 for a washing machine



My family needs a washing machine to start our own business and support my medical care.



Mony – 11 is cared for by his Grandma and Grandpa.

Mony was born disabled and has been in the care of his grandparents for most of his life.

The grandparents have no money and little support from their family. Grandma sells street food but she doesn’t make enough income to support Mony’s medical care.

Through COVID, we provided food supplies each month to the family and did regular check ups with Mony.

Grandma said that if she had a washing machine she could bring in more income, estimating she could make a profit of about $6 a day.

“I struggle to care for my grandchild because he has a disability. I can’t go to work as I spend most of my time taking care of him,” said grandma.

“I will be so happy to have a washing machine so I can stay home and look after my grandson while working at the same time.”


$2,565 for restaurant business



My family needs to rebuild our restaurant after it was damaged in recent storms.



After Mohm’s, now 35, parents passed away when she was young, her and her 3 siblings went to live with their aunty and uncle.

Her aunty and uncle worked on a farm, which meant Mohm had to do farm work also. Mohm is the eldest of her siblings, so she was responsible for working and looking after her younger brothers and sisters.

In 2010, Mohm and her siblings met CCT. Her aunty and uncle weren’t able to provide much support to Mohm and her siblings, so the CCT orphanage took them in. At the CCT orphanage they had access to food, beds, education and their basic needs.

When the CCT orphanage closed, CCT supported Mohm to live independently as she was over 18. CCT then supported Mohm to access vocational training in Phnom Penh to train to become a chef. Through access to education and opportunity, Mohm has thrived as a chef and now has a family of her own. She is married and has 2 young children. Her and her husband live in Siem Reap and have opened their own restaurant.

Recently, heavy storms hit Siem Reap and damaged Mohm’s restaurant. They don’t have insurance and need help to fix the roof of their restaurant. CCT provides long-term support for children and families. Despite living independently from CCT for several years now, we are going to do everything we can to support Mohm and her family and keep their business afloat. Supporting the next generation is how we can truly break the cycle of poverty.


$189 for a soy bean machine



My family needs a soy bean machine so I can save money to pay for my daughter’s to go to university and be fully independent of CCT.



In 2019, Yeab found out she had cancer. Receiving the diagnosis was particularly tough as her husband had just passed away and the family were already in serious debt.

“I had an ultrasound at the hospital in Battambang after a lump became so swollen that I couldn’t raise my arm.The ultrasound showed that I had cancer and I was told I only had 4 years to live. I felt very depressed,” said Yeab.

Yeab couldn’t afford cancer treatment and worried about what future she could provide for her daughters, Sreynich and Samnang. She thought she had no option but to send her Sreynich and Samnang to an orphanage.

Our medical team helped Yeab access surgery to remove the cancer in 2019. “I didn’t have much hope that I would survive, but I thought the operation was worth the risk… and if it was a success, I would have more time to care for my children,” said Yeab. CCT covered all the medical bills and regular health checks for Yeab’s surgery and treatment. Three years later and Yeab is in remission.

After regaining her health, Yeab was ready to get back to work. She wanted a sustainable income that would ensure Sreynich and Samnang grew up strong, healthy and educated. Before starting her own small business, Yeab partnered with our family finance team to undergo financial literacy coaching, focusing on budgeting, saving and paying off debt. Soon after, Yeab began growing and selling vegetables at her local market. After saving money, Yeab was then able to buy a drinks stall and a sugar cane cart, with some help from CCT.

Just a few years ago, Yeab was facing mounting debts, unable to afford cancer treatment and considering placing her daughters in an orphanage. Today, she is successfully running 3 small businesses, her daughters are thriving at school and Yeab is now saving $100 each month. Yeab said to make her business even more successful and sustainable, she wanted a soy bean machine so she could provide another option to her customers.

“Now that I have my health back, I feel so happy. I am still alive and will be around to see my children’s future. I don’t know if I met CCT by accident or if I’m just lucky,” said Yeab.


$572 street food stall



My family needs our own street food stall so we can sell our products at the market to pay off debt and cover our rent.



Mum – Heng, – 42, Socheata – 22, Soksan – 19, Vatey – 14

When her children were young, Heng didn’t work. She was a full-time mum and relied on her husband to support their family. When her husband stopped supporting her, she found herself in a vulnerable situation with no job, no money and no way to pay her rent.

We got this case from the family’s Village Chief who reported that the family were struggling to make ends meet. Heng was in a lot of debt and wasn’’t able to pay their rent on time, leaving them owing quite a lot of money to their landlord. Heng also couldn’t afford school materials or university fees. The eldest daughter Socheata was working full-time to support the whole family.

Heng said she wanted to work and set up her own street food stall to sell food and drinks at the market. She said that her business will help her to pay off the family’s debt and cover their rent. Heng says she can make up to $15 a day if she has her own street food stall.

CCT is now supporting the middle child, Soksan, to go to university. We also paid for him to access glasses, as he couldn’t afford them or medical care before. He is studying IT at university and we will buy him a laptop soon.


$275 for a drink stall



My family needs a drink stall business so I can look after my disabled son and work from home.



Mum: Kimty – 39, Chhunly – 11, Chhuleap – 5 (disabled, can’t walk)

When we met Kimty, she wasn’t able to work regularly as she had to look after her children Chhunly and Chhuleap. Chhuleap was born disabled and couldn’t walk at 5-years-old.

Because Kimty couldn’t afford medical treatment for Chhuleap, she didn’t know the full extent of his condition and if it was treatable. All she knew was that Chhuleap couldn’t walk. After meeting the family, we brought Chhuleap to a disability specialist in Battambang. The specialist hospital provided Chhuleap with a small wheelchair and now he is able to walk. Chhuleap is so much happier now. We also helped Kimty to access welfare so she can access social services, like healthcare, in her community for free.

Before, Kimty was working odd jobs and bringing in approximately $25 per/month – well below the money needed to feed herself and her two children. Sometimes, the family had no food to eat. Her eldest son, Chhunly, also wasn’t going to school as she couldn’t afford school materials or uniforms.

We helped Chhunly access public school and provided him with all the school materials he needs. Kimty said for her to have a sustainable job, she wants her own drink stall business. Having her own drinks stall mean she will be able to work and also look after Chhuleap at the same time.

“Having my own business means a lot to me because I will be able to work from home and have time to look after my children. Plus, I have the income to support my family,” said Kimty.


$295 for sugar cane machine



If my family had a sugarcane machine we could save $300 a month and not require support from CCT anymore.



Sopheab lost his leg while fighting in the war against the Khmer Rouge in 1995. “I was in the war and sent to the front line. While fighting, I tried to escape from the firing and I stepped on a land mine.”

Since then, it has been difficult for Sopheab to find work. He has worked many kinds of jobs, but his disability makes it hard to find consistent, well-paid work. “Before, I collected bottles to pay for my children’s studies. It was really tough. I only had a few handfuls of rice to make breakfast and dinner. I would cry alone, but I never let my family see. It was the worst time in my life.”

When we met the family two years ago, right as COVID-19 was spreading across the world, Sopheab and his wife Chantha’s children had stopped going to school altogether as they could no longer afford school materials and the fees. To help the family survive the COVID-19 lockdowns, we provided monthly food packages for several months. We then helped the two children to re-enrol in school and provided them with school uniforms, shoes, backpacks and books.

Sopheab and Chantha wanted to start a business where they could work from home and which wouldn’t put too much stress or pain on Sopheab’s disability. After partnering with CCT’s family finance team, Sopheab and Chantha started their own small grocery stall at the front of their house. “CCT helped me set up a small business, so I could sell groceries. Because I’m disabled, it’s easy work for me to look after my family. I take home about $5 – $7.50 a day after our daily expenses. My past is completely different from the present – 80% – 90% different.”

Today, Sopheab and Chantha’s children are doing well at school. The eldest daughter, Sreyvish, is in grade 11, their son, Enshor, is in grade 9 and their youngest daughter, Sreypin, has just started school. We asked Sopheab what he needed so that he could increase his income and step away from CCT’s support and he asked for a sugar cane machine. Our team continues to work closely with the family, supporting them to build a successful and sustainable business that will ensure their children’s health and wellbeing into the future.


$707 for street food cart and equipment



My family needs a food cart and bowls, plates and cutlery so we have enough income to pay our rent and send me to school.



Mum, Lina – 36, Sreynuth – 15, Nita – 9, Vyliem – 5

Aunty’s name is Lina, 36 years old, she looks after her niece and her two children. Because of poverty, Sreynuth’s parents left her with Lina.

Before, Lina worked in a small street food store that had a very low income and unstable income.

After we got this case from the hotline, we supported this family with food monthly supplies and helped Sreynuth access vocational training to train at a beauty salon, we also provided her with a training uniform and a bike so she could get to and from vocational training.

Lin said that for her to have a sustainable income, she wanted her own small business selling street food. She had experience doing this kind of work before and said she had always wanted her own business.

Lina enjoys cooking with her kids and teaching them new skills. She said that having her own small business will allow her to cover her rent and pay for her children’s education.

“My business will help me a lot because I can earn money for myself and I can share food with my relatives and my children,” said Lina.


$349 for a sewing machine



My family needs a sewing machine so we can start our own tailoring business and begin saving money for a house.


When we met Channy she was working in a food packing factory in Battambang, earning just $2 a day. It wasn’t enough to feed her 9-year-old daughter, Chenda, or send her to school. “I feel depressed when I see my daughter didn’t have enough food and couldn’t go to school like other kids,” said Channy.

Channy said she wanted a stable income which would allow her to raise Chenda well. To help Channy achieve her personal goals, we helped her access vocational training to be a tailor and to undergo financial literacy coaching with CCT. While Channy was securing further education and unable to work, CCT ensured her and Chenda were supported with food, water and healthcare. CCT also helped Chenda return to public school by providing her with all the school materials she required to enrol.

After Channy completed vocational training, her aunty, Somali, got in contact with an exciting business opportunity. Somali owned a beautiful space in town where she ran her handbag and accessory business from. Somali offered for Channy to share the space with her, which would provide Channy with a brick-and-mortar shop to launch her business. “The reason I helped Channy is because I felt bad for her and her daughter… she was working in a factory, making a low income. I wanted to help them to make them safe,” said Somali.

All Channy needed was her own sewing machine so she could start her own business in Somali’s space. “My plan is to still work at the cake shop and also in my own business, so I will have 2 incomes. I will have enough income to support my daughter to go to school,” said Channy.

CCT’s family finance team and social workers will continue to work closely with Channy as she strives to make her business a success.