Lotus' Partners

Partners in Cambodia:


Rural Economic and Development Agency (READA):

READA is a local Cambodian NGO established in 2005.

READA works in several districts in the Siem Reap province; Angkor Thom, Banteay Srey and Chikreng with villages which are at the deepest level of poverty.  The area is also prone to both flooding and drought. The projects READA implements  are funded by Concern Worlwide, Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA) and Lotus and focus on livelihood improvement and increased participation of the poorest in local decision making. READA also currently implements a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project.

READA’s objectives, through its “Appropriate Way for Community Livelihood Improvement” project,  are to improve the food and livelihood security of the communities it works with through providing appropriate agriculture technical training, necessary services and skills to enable poor community members to move on from poverty situation without undermining natural resources. The projects beneficiaries are also encouraged to form into Self Help Groups, each member receives a grant which will enable him/her to start one or several livelihood activites. Group members are also encouraged to save, therefore creating a pot of money to be used by in emergency situation or for further investment in livelihood activities.

Lotus currently implements the following projects with READA:

In 2009 Lotus started funding, with its own funds, a 3 years community development project, the AWCLI project, implemented by READA in 6 villages in the Banteay Srey and Chikreng districts.  In September 2012 the AWCLI project ended and after reassessing the benefits of the project to the 6 villages, Lotus, together with READA developed a second phase to the project, the AWCLI II project ended in October 2015.

In June 2016 Lotus started funding the Integrated Farming project, after jointly developing it with READA.  The Integrated Farming project is being carried out in villages which Lotus and READA have been working in for the last 6 years. When reassessing the benefits of the AWCLI projects it was discovered that the communities needed a more in-depth agricultural training.  In order to maximise the benefits of the Integrated Farming project an Agricultural Specialist has been hired into the project to give the families involved in the project, as well as the rest of the communities, specialist training.

Apart from the Integrated Farming project Lotus is also funding a 'Small Loans' project for 1 year in order to 'kick start' a Small Loans scheme which ultimately will be funded and operated by the communities

 

 

READA 's Executive Director at a community meeting

Rice Banks Project

Poor remote villagers in the Provinces of Siem Reap face food shortage for 6 to 10 months of the year, this leads to negative effects on children’s health and education and results in migration to other towns and neighbouring countries, with all the risks this may involve; human trafficking, HIV/Aids etc.  It also leads to debt with the poorest families borrowing rice from money lenders at extortionate interest rates (sometimes up to 200% a year) therefore contributing to a cycle of debt amongst already poor communities.

Having a community Rice Bank does not only benefit the villages Lotus supports but also other surrounding villages.  The Rice Bank works by enabling families to borrow rice during the most critical times of the (before the annual rice harvest) at reasonable interest rates and to repay once the rice has been harvested.  The amount borrowed, as well as the interest paid back, are paid in rice after harvest. The Rice Banks are managed by committees made up by members of the respective communities who have been elected by the villagers.  The committees set up the interest to be paid for borrowing and all aspects of managing the Rice Banks. It has been proven that Rice Banks not only feed families in lean times but also help the communities gradualy get themselves out of debt.

Because Lotus is able to see the benefits to communities who have Rice Banks it has undertaken to try and implement, together with its local NGO partners, as many Rice Banks as possible - not only to the villages its supports but also to surrounding villages.  Lotus hopes to  continue implementing the Rice Bank project through Third Party Funding and from its own funding.

Lotus has so far implement the construction of more than 19 Rice Banks through Third Party funding from business associates, and others, and from its own funding.

 

Water Project

Remote communities in Siem Reap have a chronic shortage of water.  Access to safe water is irregular and only covers 56% of the population in rural areas where 80% of the population lives. Poor farmers who are heavily depending on natural resources for their livelihood face recurring water shortage due to inconsistent rainfalls, increasingly frequent droughts and limited and poor infrastructure.

Improving access to safe water for communities does not only improves their health, through clean drinking water, hygiene and more food,  but it also enables the communities to increase their income generation.

Similar to the Rice Bank prject Lotus has undertaken to implement, together with its local NGO partners, the Water project (consisting Water Well, Canals, Water Vats and Water Filters) to as many villages as possible - not only to the villages its supports but also to surrounding villages. Lotus hopes to  continue implementing the Water project through Third Party Funding and from its own funding.

Lotus has so far implemented the construction of more than 18 Water Wells and 1 Canal, and has provided communities with numerous Water Vats and Water Fiters through Third Party funding from business associates, and others, and from its own funding.

 

This Life Cambodia:

This Life Cambodia (TLC) is a NGO operating in Siem Reap which focuses on developing educational, skill and development programmes as well as providing support that directly benefit the lives of children, youth and their communities in rural Cambodia.

Lotus’ involvement with This Life Cambodia stretches back to 2012 when Lotus provided financial support to TLC’s "This Life Beyond Bars" project. This Life Beyond Bars strives to provide vocational training to minors imprisoned in both Siem Reap, Banteay Mancheay and more recently in Phnom Penh prisons, by training them in electrical repairs and motor repairs. This Life Beyond Bars project also supports children living in the Northwestern provinces of Siem Reap, Oddar Meancheay and Banteay Mancheay whose parent or guardians are imprisoned.

Late in 2014 Lotus discussed with TLC the idea to launch a joint vocational training social enterprise project in Siem Reap in order to provide a basis for young people from underprivileged backgrounds, including orphanages, to learn motor repairing skills and to become equipped for an independent life.  In the following months the project plan was drafted and finally the Memorandum of Understanding was signed in August 2015, and after an initial set up phase started in earnest in January 2016.

The Vocational Training Social Enterprise - Moto Doctor  (or VTSE- Moto Doctor) project, as it is called, will enable these young people to seek jobs on their own (or with the help of the project), to establish their own shops or small enterprises, and to provide employments to others.   The multiplier effect is the very essence of educating these young people, which justifies the costs of the project.

The key elements of the project are the creation of a social vocational training project, and, at the time, the creation of an Enterprise side which sells skills and services through the vocational side to the general public.   The vocational trainers (who are employed by the project), whilst training the students (and the students themselves once they have acquired sufficient skills) sell their services to the public.  The  intention of producing profits is to fund the social side of the project.   The aim of the VTSE project is for the Enterprise side to eventually, over a 3-4 year period,  produce 70-80% of the total projects costs, with the remainder being covered by the Partners (Lotus and TLC) and long-term donors.   Both the training and the selling of skills and services are conducted in the shop which has been rented for the project.  The name of the shop is 'The Moto Doctor'.

This current 1 year project is intended as a model case and we are presently in the process of adjusting and modifying the 2017 VTSE-Moto Doctor project.  The cost of the current project, US$ 40,000 has been funded totally by Lotus-Trust,

It is intended to extend the VTSE Moto Doctor project beyond 2016 and to possibly grow the VTSE project into other skills and areas.  This can only be done if the Enterprise side of the project(s) provides sufficient profits to cover a major part of not only the social side but the overall project.  The remainder of the funding needed would be covered by the 2 Partners (Lotus and TLC) and long-term enterprise minded donors..

 

 

Vocational training session - This Life Cambodia (TLBB program)