Loan is seed money to advance the rural living standard

AMK, Cambodia: A case study of Mrs. Chhun Ry, a 37 year-old woman living in Santepheap village, Tuol Pongro commune, Malai district, Banteay Meanchey province in Cambodia.

Life might be a bit tough if you move out from a place that you were born as it is the comfort zone where you know very well the neighbors, geography, and environment around. In seeing the opportunity of running business or getting a job in Thailand, Mrs. Chhun Ry and parents have emigrated from Svay Reang province to live in Santepheap village, Tuol Pongro commune, Malai district, and Banteay Meanchey province in Cambodia. This is where Mrs. Chhun Ry met her husband and they got married in 2002. They now have 3 sons; the first son is 15 years old and studying in grade 8, the second son is 12 years old and studying in grade 6 and the youngest son is 7 years old and studying in grade 1. Mrs. Chhun Ry is running a medium-size store in front of her house selling variety of product and her husband is a mason. They also cultivate paddy rice on their own 7-hectare paddy rice field in rainy season. Mrs. Chhun Ry was so excited to share her life path before and after getting to know and use AMK service.

After marriage, Mrs. Chhun Ry and her husband emigrated to in sugar cane field in Thailand expecting that they could make more money so that they can use their saving to run a small store in her village after returning. However, after working there for 4 days, Mrs. Chhun Ry got malaria and due to the Thai language constraint, she and her husband had to return to Cambodia. Living with her parents upon her return, her husband worked as casual labor worker and collect common property resource around the village to get some money to treat her until she got well.

Few months later, there was a village plot, where she is living on nowadays, on sale which cost KHR 800,000 (USD 200) and she wanted to buy it, but she had only KHR 500,000 (USD 125) in hand. Finally, she decided to borrow KHR 300,000 (USD 75) from relatives to add up with her savings to buy that village land. She and her husband did not immediately construct home to live there, but after some months they had enough savings to build a small hut. After moving into that hut, she had no money in hand, but she really want to sell groceries in front of her home to make additional income to add to her husband’s earnings.

At that time, AMK has done a very good move. AMK went to promote about its service provision in her village and it very much attracted her interest, so she decided to request for KHR 300,000 (USD 75) to run her small business as she has planned, and she used all the money to buy groceries to sell in her store. The second loan, she took KHR 400,000 (USD 100) to use for the same purpose. The seed money that she has taken from AMK helped her to achieve her dream of running a store in her village. This seed money has also leveraged her family livelihood which she could manage to let her household have enough food to eat and send all her children to school. Mrs. Chhun Ry has been with AMK for 10 cycles up to now. The last 3 cycles of loan that she took were KHR 8,000,000 (USD 2,000), KHR 10,000,000 (USD 2,500) and KHR 20,000,000 (USD 5,000) at the eighth, ninth and tenth cycle respectively. The eighth loan was used to buy soil to fill around her current living land and the ninth cycle loan was used to buy a power tiller with its trailer. The current loan, she is using to buy 2 hectares of cultivable land close to her village.

Mrs. Chhun Ry said, “I will not be able to come up to this point if there was no financial service provision to my family that I could use as capital to run my grocery store business. I dare say that AMK loans are a seed money to improve my family livelihood to have enough food to eat and to have more cash in hand. Based on my family situation, I mostly buy only big fish to eat when I go shopping, even though small fish is cheaper, but still do not buy the small ones as I could afford more expensive food. I could also manage to send all my children to school.” She also recommended to other people that, “You should not be afraid of taking loan if you are sure that you will use the money to run business because this kind of income generating activity will allow you to have inflow to repay the loan. I am an example of this. I started borrowing from AMK at only KHR 300,000 (USD 75) and now I can borrow up to 20,000,000 (USD 5,000). Nowadays, I own 1 power tiller, 2 motorcycles, and 7 hectares of paddy rice field. My business has expanded to a medium size, too.”

Source: AMK Cambodia. https://www.amkcambodia.com

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