In 2018, Simple Green Smoothies began our partnership with World Hope International with a dream to end human trafficking in Cambodia through mushroom farming. So far, we've raised $22,000 and helped 10+ families start their own mushroom-growing business... and we're just getting started.
Cambodia has a lucrative market for mushrooms and an average family can increase its household income from an average $50 per month (the World Bank measure international poverty levels at $1.90 per day) to as much as $300 per month.
our goal is to add 10 more households to that list this year.
Tons of Mushrooms
Like any mother, Ngor dreamed of being able to provide for her three beautiful children. Alongside her husband Sron, she worked as a farmer growing rice and cassava in a small field. Sometimes Sron had to travel far away to find extra work as a wood cutter.
When food was not available, Ngor would find snails and crabs from the rice field to feed her family. Her children were not able to go to school and if they got sick, there were no funds to pay for treatment.
After Ngor started growing mushrooms, life changed for her entire family. Now, they no longer need to borrow money with high interest rates or travel for work. They are buying seedlings for growing crops and built new storage for raw materials. Their house has electricity and their children are going to school again!
Chheat’s livelihood is farming his two and a half hectares of land where he and his family grow rice and cashews. In the off season, he works construction, but it only pays enough to cover daily expenses. He took out a loan of $5000 USD to buy some land and build a house. After selling his mushrooms, he was able to pay off his original loan, as well as the one he took out to get the mushroom house started.
With the money gained from selling mushrooms, bought a wood cutting machine, and plans to get a motorbike in the near future.
“The farmers and I are happy that WHI brought this mushroom project to us and helped to develop our community. We are no longer worried about finding a market for our mushrooms, and we don’t need to travel far from home to find work.”
Kunthea’s family depends on rice and mung bean farming to survive. She owns about half of a hectare of land, and rents an additional hectare. During the rainy season, she and her family work the fields. Each time she plants a new crop she needs to take out a loan to buy seed.
Her husband Chorn used to work as a waiter during wedding season, but the money they earned was not enough to feed everyone.
After seeing her aunt growing mushrooms and improving her family situation, Kunthea and her husband decided to grow their own. Every time they harvest mushrooms, they have enough money to feed their family, and their situation is gradually improving. She no longer needs to take out any loans, and her husband has even stopped drinking as much in favor of tending to the mushrooms.