Previous Projects

Water Wells Project

In 2006, IFDO launched a project funded by Later-day Saint Charities , in constructing 39 wells to supply clean, safe water for 1,000 families in 13 villages in three communes. Community-based committees maintained the wells with maintenance costs provided by the user households. Each well supports 25 – 30 households and is available for domestic use, livestock, and small-scale irrigation especially in the dry season. Including this project, 127 wells have been dug, which supply water to approximately 20,000 individuals.

Opening and closing ceremonies of the Water Wells Project were held to encourage project and other community members. Speakers at the ceremonies included Michael Johnson, Country Director, Latter-day Saint Charities; Taphem, Popel, and Cheang Tong Commune Chiefs; Has Sareth; Governor, Tramkok District; Kin Net, Vice Governor, Takeo Province; H.E. Khieu Muth, Secretary of State, Ministry of Environment; H.E. Chan Sarun, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and H.E. So Khun, Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

Micro-Credit Project

Rice / Fertilizer Bank

In order to help villagers to prevent from shortage of rice seed for their production, IFDO has created Rice bank at the village community. Fertilizer will be loaned to the villagers, and they will pay back with rice after harvest, and keep at community rice bank to use when needed.

Community rice bank help to alleviate poverty reduction, villager will receive loan (Rice) with low interest rate (3%) compare to private loan, especially during raining season when villagers need rice seed for rice production. This project are running well and continuing to be self sustained.

Our Philosophy and Practices

Poverty can be reduced by different ways. One of the effective means of alleviating poverty is to generate and increase income of the people. IFDO strongly believes that under-privileged beneficiaries are able to move out of extreme poverty when they are able to generate and increase their income. And in order to generate income or start up income generating activities, these poor people need investment capital. Providing extremely poor families with access to micro-credit support has been one the main programs implemented by IFDO for several years.

Our Experiences in Micro-credit

The IFDO’s current micro-credit team is the former project team of an UK micro-credit project, Rabobank FUNDATION NGO, (E&D), which implemented an integrated program in Phnom Penh sub-urban areas since 1997. The Team has gained long experience in micro-credit support with extremely poor families in Phnom Penh relocated sub-Rural areas. At the mean time , in order to facilitate our integration project for people who relocated from urban area, IFDO also work to provide loan to rural poor families as well ( This is our original goal.)

Our Beneficiaries

Our beneficiaries of micro-credit and saving services are: Extremely poor, very poor, and poor families living in disadvantaged areas, including slum areas, squatter’s areas, dumping areas, and re-settled areas of sub-rural and rural areas of Takeo Province. Some of them migrated from rural poverty-stricken areas. This group represents 90% of the total beneficiaries; HIV/AIDS carriers and HIV/AIDS infected members (less than 10%); Those groups of people, regardless of sex, religious and political tendency: are physically and mentally able to conduct income generation activities, aged from 18 to 60 years; are running existing income generating activities; have some existing resources/capital for income generating activities; commit themselves to increasing their daily income; some of them, were unemployed and had no opportunity for income generating activities, but demonstrated high motivation, commitment and initiative to create a new income generating activity (with support from IFDO); are able to reimburse the loans and interests. (98%) and males (2%)

Assessment and Loan Allocation

IFDO has its own policies, procedures and guidelines on credit support and loan conditions which take into account such critical issues as the family background (including level of poverty), motivation, income generating activities, and capacity to generate income. Information from local authorities and the applicant’s neighbors is the key input into the assessment, and community credit agents and loan committees play a significant role in making decisions on who and how much should be supported.

Beneficiary Training

The successful applicants/families are normally trained at least one morning about IFDO’s policy on credit support, the right and wrong uses of loans, business plan development, basis of marketing, hygiene and some income generating activities.

Loans Disbursement and Collection

By July 1997, loans (small loans the majority) are disbursed two times per month, while loan collection is carried out on weekly basis. Normally, loan are disbursed to and collected from beneficiaries directly at home or places where partners run income generating activities.

Partners’ Savings as Sustainability Strategy

While receiving micro-credit support from IFDO, partners are encouraged to deposit some small amount of their money as savings in their individual accounts. The deposited savings will be returned to borrowers, once they have saved adequate amount of savings for capital or once they stop taking loans, with an offer of 2% interest per year. The amount of savings deposited by borrowers has increased steadily since the beginning of credit support activities. One of the main goals of having savings deposited by borrowers is to help poor beneficiaries save small money from their daily income to be the future sustainable capital for their income generating activities. Once they have saved considerable amount of savings, adequate for the capital for income generating activities, poor beneficiaries are able to withdraw the savings together with provided interest amount from IFDO. This is one of the sustainability strategies IFDO has used in micro-credit services with poor beneficiaries.

Follow-up Activities

Each beneficiary receives a weekly visit from IFDO micro-credit staff, especially during the loan collection. The staff observes and interviews the situation of beneficiary’s income generating activities, capacity to reimburse loans, as well as living conditions. In addition, difficulties encountered by beneficiaries and advice from the staff are discussed and exchanged for solutions and improvement.

Evaluation

IFDO conducts evaluation with all beneficiaries of micro-credit services on annual basis in order to measure the impacts of these services on poor families. In particular, the poverty movement/situation of beneficiaries is studied cautiously. It has its own poverty movement assessment tools and methodologies. Baseline and post-line data is collected through observations and interview questionnaires and from their personal records, and is analyzed by computerized-IFDO program.

Agriculture Training Center

IFDO staff and several project members attended seminars and workshops conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cooperation Committee of Cambodia (CCC, an information clearing-house for local and international NGOs) both in Phnom Penh and in Takeo Province. This year’s topics included agriculture, community development, leadership, report writing, democracy and human rights, health and sanitation, and environmental issues. This year IFDO increased its cooperation with other NGOs. In particular, with Centre d’Etude et de Développement Agricole Cambodgien (Cedac), which opened an office in Tramkok in 2002. A major concern was that both organizations could have similar or the same project in the same commune or even village. In order to best leverage donor funds, IFDO and Cedac agreed to not allow similar projects to overlap the same target area. In addition, IFDO enhanced its linkages with local and national government agencies. We worked closely with provincial and district officials and departments as well as local leaders with project planning and training. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries agreed to provide a memorandum of understanding (MOU) supporting IFDO and the Ministry of Environment has officially endorsed our community development activities.

System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Project

Encouraged by the community, IFDO has established the following project priorities: System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which are environmentally friendly techniques to dramatically increase rice yields through improved plant, water, soil, and nutrient management rather than the use of purchased inputs, e.g. chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Skills training. There is a real need to increase local employment, since many people, especially men, must leave their families for extended periods to work in unskilled and often unsafe jobs, usually in Phnom Penh but also seasonal fishing and timbering. It would be inexpensive to teach small engine repair, construction skills, woodworking, handicrafts, etc. to these people. Village Women’s Groups to increase women’s ability and self-confidence by augmenting their participation in community decision making and leadership activities. Integrated farming, a semi-intensive system where resources are efficiently used and recycled, producing higher yields than would be generated from the sum of the individual farming subsystems. Integrated farms can be simple, with rice, vegetables, fish, and one domestic animal, to complex with multiple fish species plus several types of animals and crops. The goal of integrated farming is to establish a flexible system with low external inputs and several varied outputs throughout the year. Irrigation systems. Takeo Province has experienced drought for most of the past 15 years. More wells are needed, dikes and canals need to be made, Khmer Rouge era reservoirs and irrigation delivery systems need restoration, and an efficient and inexpensive method of pumping water (windmills?) is required.

Fisheries Pond Project

This project cultivates an institutional income generation capability that will allow it to be self-sustaining far into the future. From the perspective of capacity building, the project will sustain itself through the experience the project and community members, partners, and staff acquire. IFDO has a strong commitment to enable and inspire people to be self-reliant and self-confident about their work, reducing the need to rely on others.

We anticipate that after three years of receiving fingerlings from the fish station, members will be able to purchase fingerlings from their own profits so that we can continually add new members. Family Group or IF Group members who are, or who had been, members of this project will teach others the concepts and skills learned from formal training when they were members of this project. IFDO is a facilitator, not owner. IFDO staff are also members of the community in which they serve. They were born, reared, and live here; their families live here.

Truly, the beneficiaries began to control this project in May 2004, when the first potential member removed the first spade-full of soil digging the first fishpond.

Linkages to the RGC

Officials from all levels of the RGC are engaged in all phases of this project, since poverty reduction and rural development are significant components of the government’s socio-economic strategic plans. Commune leaders and Commune Development Committees will help select participants and assist in monitoring and evaluation. CDC members will serve on the Future Projects Committee.

The chief of Taphem Commune has approved the use by this project of the reservoir site in Ta Koam Village.

The Ministry of Forests, Fisheries, and Agriculture, will furnish training materials. Staff from the district Agriculture Office and the national Aquaculture Office will co-facilitate training along with project staff.

The Tramkok District Governor will appoint one member to the Future Projects Committee.

The Ministry of Environment will serve as a project consultant. National, provincial, district, and commune offices will receive copies of most reports.

Impact on the Environment

This project will generate tangible outputs that have a positive influence on land degradation, waste management, and water management, with negligible* impact on air pollution, deforestation, fuel wood shortages, and sanitation.

Land Air Forests Waste Fuel wood Water Sanitation Positive Negligible* Negligible* Positive Negligible* Positive Negligible* * Future projects anticipated by this project could have a positive effect on all of these. See Appendix 5, especially solar cooking, wells, and the health center.

Members will be encouraged to use compost and not use chemical fertilizer; they must not use chemical pesticides, since there are several environmentally friendly substitutes available. Pesticide residue kills fish, both pond and ricefield raised – farmers often eat or sell dead fish found in their ponds and ricefields. Compost will improve soil condition and fertility, thus reducing both the need for chemicals and the damage to the environmental. (The “blooming effect” on ponds and waterways observed in other countries and in the literature is most often caused by accumulated manure from feedlots, not organic gardening operations; the “green” in fishponds is deliberate: manure to fertilize the pond.) The socio-economic impact could be impressive, especially the potential reduction of urban migration and consequential pressures placed on Cambodia’s cities and towns.

Small Bridge/Canal Construction

Community infrastructure has been severely damaged during Khmer Rouge time. In order to improve the socio-economic development at rural area, IFDO has constructed small bridge for people use to transport their product cross the river to the market place. On the other hand, the drainage canals have also been constructed to irrigate water for agriculture purpose. Village community uses all these means to improve their living condition through generating income.

Starting from 1 January 2006, The International Friendship Development Organization (IFDO), had sign an agreement with UNHCR as its implementing partner in order to provide assistance to the Montagnard refugees and asylum seekers at the sites. The agreement has extended throughout 2011. The main objective of IFDO is to provide adequate shelter, food, non-food commodities, informal education, health care and logistical arrangements to Montagnard people during the refugee status determination process until durable solution have been implemented.

Health Care In Refugee Site

There was a small clinic at the site to provide preliminary treatment. The clinics run by one part time doctor, one nurse, and one volunteer doctor who were available 24 hours a day. A state hospital was contracted for referral cases. The nurse was at the site every afternoon of the day to provide health care and hygiene. The point should be interesting all adult girls and women were counseling about syphilis and how to protect themselves of health care by IFDO social worker especially we focus on the new arrivals as following:

  • Provided many advices about ages who can be easy to cause pregnancy.
  • Counseling about the way of birth control and the way of protection to avoid have pregnancy.
  • Counseling about infection disease during make lover because of not use condom.
  • Provided many advices how to use condom.
  • Counseling with family who has daughter had better to educate their daughter more and more about reproductive health.

Two IFDO social workers worked together with the doctors to ensure that all persons in need of medical attention were provided with adequate treatment. For those with serious diseases, IFDO’s social workers accompany them to the referral hospital. Approximately 681 Montagnards patients received consultation and medicines at the site by the site doctor and some 24 referrals were made to the contracted hospital. It was significantly increase in number of patient among urban refugees and asylum seekers going to the hospital (257 patients with 15 serious patients). Almost all Rohingha had complained for their health problems. Although many of them had common diseases, they required lots of attention and times. The social workers had extremely been busy to keep up with their tasks. There were also a few people who had seriously sick and required special attention and regularly follow up. Those included diabetes, high blood-pressure, HIV/AID, heart disease and those who were under surgery and long time stayed in hospital.

Children under 5 were given vaccination at the referral hospital. The family with new-born babies was transported to the hospital for vaccination every month. Condoms had made available to the site population at all times. Especially they were kept in toilet for their need. IFDO provides advices and recommendation about health care, hygiene and sanitation to all Montagnards and urban refugees.

  • Medical consultation for general diseases.
  • Hygiene / Sanitation
  • Psychological stress counseling
  • Reproductive health care/ HIV and AID

Education Training for Refugee

There were 302 Montagnard students comprised of 165 (Male), 137 (Female) in English class. And 115 students comprised of 37 (Male), 78 (Female) in sewing class. 236 Urban students comprised of 158 (Male), 78 (Female) were in Khmer classes. Study equipments books, note books, pens, crayon, colour paper and kid tools were provided. Creational activities; knitting, sewing and weaving Montagnard women had been learning knitting, sewing and weaving. IFDO has provided directly to the sewing teacher and that she was in charge of the distribution. 11 refugees are currently taking part in the sewing class. Protection staff will follow up with the sewing teacher to verify that the fabric is available and buy additional material for their need if necessary.