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Top banana

By Gideon Heugh | 27 Feb 2020

The solution to a person's poverty can come in all shapes and sizes. For Chaya, it came in the form of fried bananas...

Chaya is a singer in her village band. Happily married, and with two adoring children, she has a lot to be thankful for.

Yet in rural Cambodia, where Chaya is from, poverty is rife. Most people rely on growing their own food to survive, and many can’t afford to give their children a proper education. Chaya wanted more for her family, but she felt trapped.

‘I wanted to own a business,’ Chaya says. ‘But I had no money or knowledge. How was I meant to start a business?’

Chaya had the will, but she needed the way. Fortunately, Tearfund’s local partner was on hand to provide it. Their Saving for Life program is changing lives across Cambodia. When they started working in Chaya’s village, she jumped at the opportunity.

Never give up
At the heart of the programme is the creation of savings groups. Each member puts a small amount of money in each week, then is able to take out a loan with which to start a business. Each group also receives training on how to invest wisely and run a successful business.

‘It wasn’t easy to put aside money,’ says Chaya. ‘But I had to reach my goal. I never gave up on my dream.’

Chaya was eventually able to take out a small loan. With it, she set up a stall selling fried bananas outside of her home. Thanks to her new-found business knowledge, and the delicious food, the business has been a resounding success. On a good day she can earn up to £15 – a huge amount for someone who used to struggle to provide for her family.

‘I can now expand my business,’ Chaya says. ‘I am so happy to earn a better income to provide for my family. I am so thankful for this small business, starting with a small amount of money I saved with my group.’


Dear God,
Thank you for your goodness and your grace. Thank you that the solutions to our problems can come from unexpected places. We thank you for Chaya and her family, and pray for your blessing upon them. We pray that more people in Cambodia will be reached by this programme, so that no more families will have to struggle to survive.
In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Written by

Written by Gideon Heugh

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