Culture

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Culture

(Click on photos to enlarge)

A Buddhist village wedding…

Bride and Groom…

Entering the Ceremony hall.

Children at Takol school having a break between lessons.  The school is a mixture of Buddhist and Moslem children, and the Headmaster is Buddhist.  There is harmony in the rural communities, and everyone helps each other day to day, creating a strong community bond.  The people are generally very happy, and despite not having many of the basic human needs, they cope well.  The ability to get clean, affordable water is a benefit which improves their lives and happiness.

Husband and Wife seated on ox and cart traveling down a river track.  The pace of life is slow, and agriculture is their main industry.  Along the river they grow mainly rice and chili.

Many farmers put their rice out to dry just outside their homes, creating beautiful shapes and colours, greens and yellows.

A young Moslem girl on a ferry on Tonle Sap river, wearing a traditional shawl.

The people have makeshift parties and laugh and joke, even on a five minute ferry ride between river communities on Tonle Sap river.

Buffalo have been the mode of transport in Cambodia for centuries, and this is a common site on the farms and tracks around Kampong Chhnang.  Sometimes the crops are loaded so high that the farmers sit over 10 feet up in the air!

A community meeting in Ampil Tuek commune, involving commune committee members.  The community spirit is high, and the people are deeply attached to their village and commune.

The village chief above is so happy with his new village clean water system, and told us he wants to charge a minimal amount to the community to sustain the project over the long term.  The key to success in any venture/project, is to make sure the projects are sustainable.  Added to that it is important to scale up so that as many people as possible are able to benefit.  With these two vital factors in mind (sustainability and scalability), it makes sense for communities to set a minimal and affordable price for clean water, to create sustainability and allow the community to help themselves over the long term. (Bear in mind many very poor people still buy bottled water at very high prices so that their families do not get sick).

This initiative to pay for the clean water must come from the community themselves. They believe that by charging a tiny amount, they can save enough over the long term to maintain the system, buy new filters, and they will be able to keep the project running and make drinking of clean water a lifestyle.  This in turn allows Social Capital Venture to scale up quicker, take our resources wider and more quickly, and create a model for sustainability to millions of people over time.

Selling fruit at a river market.  The market is packed every day at around 8.30am, with people selling everything from clothes to meat, fish and mobile phones.

A young boy at his parents bread stall.  The baguets are a reminder of the French influence which can still be found all over Cambodia, from food to boulevards and buildings.

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Discussion

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