Jean-Yves Dekeister, who owns Les Manguiers together with his wife Phear, is involved with a local NGO called Samaki. Samaki helps local poor families in the Kampot region so that they can live better lives. Today, two Samaki staff took our family to visit one of the households that Samaki supports.
The family is a Chinese-Khmer family that lives close to Vy’s place. The family supports itself through a micro-enterprise weaving bamboo baskets. The family consists of two adults and their three children. Here is what we saw as we visited.
The 14 year-old daughter and the mother were weaving bamboo baskets. The mother was cutting the bamboo and the daughter was weaving it. In a day, the family makes around 50 baskets. Once 100 baskets are ready, they are shipped to market where they are sold for USD 0.13 each.
Ida and Saga each tried weaving. They had a great instructor!
This family has been with Samaki for about four years. Four months ago, the family built itself a new home. The new place is made of sheet metal with green walls:
Their old house (still in use) is made of palm and thatch:
As a thought experiment, I wanted to try and estimate the poverty level of the household that we visited. One way of doing so is by using the Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI). The PPI helps organisations understand the poverty profile of the clients they serve. PPIs are available from progressoutofpoverty.org and the tool is explained on that site.
(Note: I’ll try not to get too technical here) The PPI® is a poverty measurement tool [that] is statistically-sound, yet simple to use: the answers to 10 questions about a household’s characteristics […] are scored to compute the likelihood that the household is living below the poverty line […].
There is a PPI for Cambodia. The latest version of the PPI for Cambodia was created in February 2015 by Mark Schreiner of Microfinance Risk Management, L.L.C., developer of the PPI. Indicators in the PPI for Cambodia are based on the 2011 Socio-Economic Survey of Cambodia.
Some of what the Cambodia PPI takes into account include:
- The number of family members in the household
- The building materials used for the roof and the walls
- The number of cell phones the household uses
Basically, if we know the answers to these questions, we can estimate how poor the household is.
While we didn’t have the answers to all of the questions, we are able to estimate that the household is very likely living on less than $2.50 per day. Interestingly, I’ve read that the average Cambodian household earns $950 per year, which translates into just over $2.50 per day.
This visit was certainly an eye-opening experience for Ida and Saga.