Loan helps improve widow’s living conditions


Sem Vannak is an AIDS-infected widow in Chiker village, Vihear Luong commune, Tbong Khum district, about 40 kilometres from the provincial town of Kampong Cham. She has a daughter and earns a living as a vendor.

Before she received loans from VisionFund, Vannak lived in hardship with her daughter after her husband, the family’s breadwinner, died. She and her daughter did not have enough to eat due to the low income from her small-scale grocery business in front of her house, as she did not have capital to expand her business.

“Before the loan, my health was not good. My life faced hardship. I could not buy many goods to sell,” Vannak said.

However, since she started to receive loans from VisionFund in 2007, she has improved her living conditions remarkably. She first borrowed US$ 300, then US$ 500, some of which was used to purchase a cow and more goods. She has moved her business place to Suong market, about 1 kilometre from her house.

Her daily revenue has increased from US$ 2.5 to US$ 5, part of which she uses for her business and for her health care in addition to regular medical support from local NGOs.

“After receiving the loans, my living conditions are better. I have money to buy more goods to sell such as pork, fish, vegetables, grocery goods and a cow,” Vannak says.

“In the future I want to see more growth. I want to see my business grow in order to send my child to complete her education and get a job.”

Her daughter, Sreynis, a 12-year-old student who is now in grade 5, says: “I want to finish my education and then find a job. I don’t want my mother to have difficulty.”