Breaking New Ground

LivelihoodsEducationCommunity EmpowermentCambodia

A farmer whose land was destroyed by corporate greed finds a new lease of life; not only getting his livelihood back, but also becoming a leader in his community.

Devi* lived a humble life, farming his small plot of land in Cambodia to provide for his wife and six children. But one day that was cruelly taken away from him.

A private company, looking for soil for a construction project, took advantage of Devi’s limited education and made an unfair deal to dig up his land. When the rains came, his field flooded. He was ruined.

His family had no choice but to move closer to farmable land. They didn’t have enough money to build a house so they lived under a tree on the bank of a river. A curtain was the only thing protecting them from the elements.

Fearing the worst
Devi could no longer earn enough to support his family. Of all his children, only the youngest could stay in school, since they couldn’t afford the expenses for books and supplies. Their eldest son moved to neighbouring Thailand for a better paying job and his parents lost touch with him, fearing the worst.

Despite these hardships, Devi’s faith remained strong, and he attended church regularly. It was here that Devi first heard about Tearfund partner World Renew, who had opened a farming school nearby. Devi became a member and learned new techniques in vegetable growing and livestock farming.

Devi started applying his new knowledge. As his own success grew, farmers in the community began coming to him for advice and training. He eagerly encouraged his neighbours to learn the new techniques and adapt their traditional methods in order to improve their income.

Devi is now a recognised agricultural leader in his community, and has influenced other farmers to reduce their reliance on chemical pesticides and fertilisers. With his income growing, he’s been able to build a new, safe home for his family.

Most importantly, they were able to bring back their son from Thailand. Their children now help on their farm or have land of their own, and the whole family is committed to seeing the youngest child finish his studies.

*Name changed to protect identity


  • Praise God that justice was restored for Devi, and that his family are safe and reunited.

  • Pray that God will continue to bless our partner World Renew, and that their work providing farming training will continue to impact many lives.

  • Lift up the country of Cambodia. Pray for those who have been held back by poverty and limited education. Ask God to break these chains.

One Voice

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Gideon Heugh

Gideon is a copywriter in the Global Brand and Communications team. When he's not wrestling with the muse / his keyboard, you will often find him traipsing up a mountain or burying his head in a book.


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