Today is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. To celebrate, we look to CAFOD, a charity CPL Aromas have supported for 20 years and a project they have been working on for the past 3 years.

The Indigenous Peoples Project has been working with indigenous communities in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri Provinces to support some of the poorest and most vulnerable Cambodians, particularly in rural areas.  

With CPL’s support, CAFOD has been working with their partner Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) to improve indigenous peoples’ livelihoods by providing communities with the knowledge and tools to access and sustainably manage natural resources, and to understand and exercise their land rights.  

  • Last year, the project supported over 250 people in Mondulkiri Province to permanently secure their communal land.
  • The project has also trained community members in conflict resolution and other skills they need to withstand threats to land security when they arise, such as land grabbing.
  • CPL’s support has also provided communities with training on resilient vegetable, cashew nut and cash crop production, as well as more sustainable bee-keeping techniques. Training includes learning appropriate methods of land preparation, irrigation, compost making, harvesting, and packaging vegetables for selling.
  • During the first six months of 2019 over 350 households, in 18 villages, increased their agriculture production and income, selling surplus vegetables including lettuce, cucumber, long bean, and cashew nut fruit. Over one hundred litres of fresh honey was also collected from the protected forest.
  • So far in 2020, more than 250 members of two Community Forests, Malik and Teun, have increased their family incomes by collecting forest products such as fresh honey, bamboo shoots, wild fruit, and herbal medicines - alongside collecting pieces of wooden materials for making fences and traditional baskets for carrying goods and firewood. 
  • This year, the project has also supported women specifically to increase their incomes by setting up a women’s banana processing group for more efficient production and sale of banana chips.   
  • As well as training in farming skills, training was also given to 76 cooperative leaders and community members (including 24 women) to improve the cooperatives’ budget management, book-keeping and business plans. The project has actively involved women in both the farming and management training.

This year, CAFODs partner DPA has also been able to use its well-established community networks to share key COVID-19 prevention messages with over 200 villagers in eight villages (four villages in each of the two provinces the project has been working in).

CPL continue to support CAFOD and many of their ongoing projects supporting those who need it the most. CAFOD provide not just monetary support but also the tools and skills to enable those people who need it a stronger and brighter future, empowering through educating.

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