GIY partnership with SONAS in Cambodia
Social enterprises come together to promote the power of food growing for healthier, more sustainable communities in rural Cambodia
GIY has announced a partnership with SONAS to empower entrepreneurs in rural Cambodia by helping them to use food-growing to take their first steps out of poverty and build sustainable and happier communities.
In Cambodia one out of three people live below the national poverty line (£0.50) and 80% of the population live in rural areas. There is a large problem with income generation, protection of the environment and food security for two thirds of the population, which has a detrimental effect to the overall health and wellbeing of the family. SONAS provides business support and education to small entrepreneurs, aiming to eradicate poverty, promote progress and social development and turn poverty-stricken and disadvantaged areas into sustainable communities.
SONAS have been supporting families to set up their own farming micro business based on the biodynamic farming model. The partnership will see GIY providing mentoring and support to SONAS in adapting the GIY group model for use in Cambodia to further enhance their farming initiative and put community supports in place for participating families. The partnership is for an initial 3-year period, and the first GIY groups will be established in the Takeo province in Cambodia in January 2015. In to the future the organisations will look to twin GIY groups in Cambodia and Ireland to facilitate further knowledge and cultural exchange between the two countries.
GIY founder Michael Kelly said: “We are excited to work with SONAS to explore the use of the GIY group model in the developing world. We’ve been hugely inspired with the work that Paul and Keeva have been doing and we are keen to learn from their innovative approach.” SONAS co-founder Paul Gill said: “If we can help families to have a sustainable income it can revitalize rural communities, prevent migration and create a healthier, happier society here. We are delighted to partner with and learn from GIY in to coming years.”
SONAS’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs, especially women, in rural Cambodia by helping them take their first steps out of poverty and to build sustainable and happier communities. Sonas is a social business focused on providing business support and education to small entrepreneurs in developing countries. www.sonas.org
GIY is an emerging global movement of people who come together to grow food at home, work, school, in the community and online. Founded in Ireland in 2009, there are 50,000 people and 800 community food projects involved in Ireland, UK and Australia, supported by GIY events, publications and programmes. GIY is a social enterprise and a registered charity in Ireland (CHY 18920). Founder Michael Kelly is an Ashoka fellow. www.giyinternational.org