Making a Difference With a Little Help From My Friends

It was a traffic congested, fume inhaling haul to the dump at 07:00 this morning. By the time we arrived, the rice was gone.

A couple of weeks ago I lent Vichika $200 of your money to open a “store.” As it turns out she is selling rice & pork, eggs and soup from 06:00 to when the rice finishes about 08:00. Her new routine is that she gets up at 01:00 or 02:00 and starts cooking. Phea helps her sometimes.IMG_4063

The most exciting development is that for the first time in her life, Vichika is actually making some money. Most of her customers are from the nearby factories. She sells her food for just slightly less than the competition, but she is still showing a good profit. Nick whistled softly and said, “Sometimes she even makes $70 a week.” To the people at the dump – who aspire to make $100 a month – this is a proverbial fortune.


After the breakfast shift, Phea is going to use Vichika’s space to sell cookies and drinks in the afternoon. Her start-up loan is $100. This morning I gave Len $200 to buy a push cart to sell drinks, but she said she needs another $100.

Vichika already had some money stolen from her house – and no doubt it will happen again. So on Friday we are going to the bank to open accounts for our three entrepreneurs.  They have never been inside a bank. The minimum deposit is $5 to open an account and they’ve never needed one before. So Nick and I are going to go along to walk them through the process and made sure everything is in order. A bit of a steep learning curve, but deposits and ATM cards here we come.

Iris bought a photo from the auction, Cecile pledged some money, Jeannie posted a cheque, and Christine sent another donation. In addition to the loans, Sandie is going to organize a trip to the zoo for the kids from the dump. With renting a bus and having lunch there it will be about $200.

Down in the Dumps is having a great time spending your money. Akun shuran – thanks a lot in Khmer.IMG_4062



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