Empowering Rural Cambodian Women Through Sustainable Victory Gardens

VG Facilitator Dy Sokhom with F2F Cambodia Program Manager, Sakara In, & Field Asst, Khet Eylang. Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Empowering Rural Cambodian Women Through Sustainable Victory Gardens

Bioregion Indochina Mixed Forests & Peatlands (IM12)
Category Regenerative Agriculture

Our project categories represent one of three core solutions pathways to solving climate change. Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers, and community agriculture.

Realm Indomalaya

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Status active

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Active indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$

$$ indicates a project with a funding need between $50,000-$250,000.

Timeframe 24 Months
Partner The Face To Face Project

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One Earth’s Project Marketplace funds on-the-ground climate solutions that are key to solving the climate crisis through three pillars of collective action — renewable energy, nature conservation, and regenerative agriculture. This project supports sustainable livelihoods in rural Cambodia through the establishment of victory gardens. 

Poverty rates in Cambodia's Pursat Province have risen, with over 22% of people earning less than USD 2.7 daily. Women bear the brunt of this challenging situation as they resort to hard labor or relocate to garment factory jobs to support their families.

Moreover, rural Cambodians face the impacts of climate change as floods, droughts, and heat spells become more frequent. Compounding the issue is monocropping, or relying on a single crop, which depletes soil nutrients and damages the land.

This project, led by Face-to-Face, will establish gardens, predominantly tended by women, to provide nutritious food for their families and communities. It aims to work harmoniously with nature to restore the land and create sustainable livelihoods for these growers.

Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Creating a cycle of regenerative agriculture practices

The two-year Victory Garden Campaign will empower 2,200 families to cultivate gardens. Victory Gardens promote organic permaculture, plant diversification, trees, and other practical, low or no-cost strategies.

As more gardeners adopt, experiment with, and teach these strategies, they develop their ingenuity and leadership skills. Building confidence, self-reliance, and resilience, this team of mostly women will train additional villagers in these practices.

Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Making home gardening available to everyone

Under the guidance of the USA's Face-to-Face Project, Face-to-Face Cambodia and its two female staff members manage all Victory Garden Campaign activities. They instruct villagers in garden creation, conduct workshops introducing new practices, provide leadership training, and organize public events. 

The project seeks to integrate victory gardens into daily village life so that anyone can participate—rich or poor, young or old, women or men, healthy or disabled, political or apolitical. Involving a diverse group of community members fosters engagement, as home gardening places everyone on equal footing.

Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Meeting women where they are and providing opportunities

Over 80% of participants are women, and as many caretakers in this community are also women—perhaps caring for a disabled child or an elderly parent—the gardens enable them to stay home, grow food, and earn income.

This also applies to elderly, widowed, or divorced women who can look after children and still earn money while staying home. Gardens help women avoid physically demanding day labor, which can lead to serious injury, and factory jobs that often require them to live apart from their families.

Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Improving money management and savings

As they become more engaged with the Victory Garden Campaign, women form bonds with fellow gardeners, exchanging ideas and practices while learning to generate and manage money. Income from a garden may not seem substantial, but a small profit each week, combined with the absence of vegetable costs and minimal expenses, enables people to pay off debts and increase their savings.

Dy Sokhom, with Face 2 Face Executive Director Ken Wong, has the most amazing array of container gardens—perhaps over a hundred crates, bottles, and cartons that thrive in the dry season. Image credit: Courtesy of Face 2 Face Project

Nurturing communities and their land

Thanks to their home victory gardens, 10,000 people in 2,200 Cambodian rural households will benefit from increased food access, improved nutrition, significant income, and reduced debt. As diverse gardens mitigate the risk of relying on a single crop, these families will experience stability and resilience as the land heals through regenerative practices.

Simultaneously, numerous women will emerge as effective, compassionate community leaders who educate and motivate other impoverished individuals to rely on themselves to lift their families out of poverty.

Secure payment. USD donations tax-deductible.

Provide a major gift

Your contribution will help ensure the long term success of this important project. Gifts can be made as a tribute to a friend or family member and are tax-deductible for U.S. residents. Please contact us!