Sophea's Story

Create a family a brighter future

Sophea was only one more bad season away from losing her home.

Overwhelming debt had taken over her life; her dreams of a better future for her children were slowly becoming further out of reach.


Sophea lives in rural Cambodia and is the main provider for her family. She has five children, the three youngest still live with her and attend school.

Sophea, her husband and youngest three children

For years, Sophea worked on her family farm outside their home, growing cassava, pepper, and corn. She produced enough to provide her family with food and would sell the remaining at a local market. Her income provided enough to cover their essential needs – food, a home, and education.

But, then everything changed within a day.

Sophea was standing outside her home when a motorcyclist crashed into her.

Her leg was badly wounded, she spent the next 14 months in and out of hospital with doctors working on healing her leg. Throughout this time, she was unable to work. When her income stopped, her debt started to grow.

Medical bills, her children’s school fees and household necessities still had to be paid.

To make matters worse, at the same time the pepper market collapsed, making the peppers she was selling less valuable.

She mortgaged her farm to pay her hospital fees, but it still wasn’t enough.

Sophea made the difficult decision to start selling plots of her farming land.

If nothing changed, Sophea would eventually be forced to sell her home to pay the remaining debt to both the hospital and the bank. Her family would migrate from their community to look for work in the city. Migrating had become a reality for many of her neighbours, forced to leave behind their farms, homes, and communities in search of a better life.

Her children would miss out on school and her family would be entrapped deeper into poverty. 

The future for her family looked bleak.

Sophea’s eyes welled with tears as she reflected on this time in her life; “Imagine you are in my family situation, what would you do to rebuild your family’s situation as a female head of the family? Although I am disabled and use crutches, I think about my children’s future.”

Sophea heard there was an ADRA project coming to her community.

Wanting to improve life for her family and save her home, Sophea quickly became involved in the project. She learned to grow different vegetables that were in demand to earn a better income. She applied the financial and business skills she learned and quickly began making a better income.

“I stood up with hope and looked for opportunities to develop my career.” Sophea shared.

As her income grew, she was able to hire members of her community who were looking for work to help with planting and harvesting. She eagerly shared her new knowledge and skills with her neighbours, helping them to grow their farms and increase their income.

Not only was Sophea actively changing her future, she was changing the future of her entire community!

With a better income, Sophea began repaying more of her debt. Today, Sophea and her family are debt free.

After paying her debt, Sophea began saving her income and was able to open a small grocery store outside her home. Her family is thriving and has a bright future ahead.

Sophea's Grocery Store

Sophea still has dreams for both her family and her community.

“I hope to reach another dream in the near future with a proper house, good education for my children, and expand my grocery shop.” She also dreams of “creating jobs for the unemployed and reduce migration in communities”.

By equipping mothers like Sophea with the skills and resources they need to earn a steady income, they can create thriving businesses, overcome debt and poverty and look forward to a brighter future.

Give a family a brighter future today.