The Family Partnership programme is at the heart of all of
Tabitha's work and is best described as community development
focused on families. Participation in the programme is a
prerequisite for families or villages to participate in any of the
other Tabitha programmes.
The majority of Cambodian families have virtually no
possessions. Perhaps one old set of clothes per person, one
drinking cup to share, and a thatch shelter. Despite this, most
families generate a small weekly income, which may be earned by
collecting and selling empty plastic bottles or cutting grass to
sell to a farmer. However, it can be difficult for families to
break out of this poverty cycle. The Tabitha Family Partnership
programme provides a means to do this, working side by side with
the community and families.
It is a very simple self-help programme with families committing
to save a certain amount for a 10-week cycle. Prior to the start of
the 10-week cycle, Tabitha staff members help the families to
develop a vision of a better life and each family decides what they
are saving for (their "dream"). "Dream" items can include the
barest essentials, such as a towel, a blanket, a cooking pot, or a
three-month supply of rice.
Each savings cycle lasts 10 weeks. The savings are collected
weekly by Tabitha workers and returned with 10% at the end of the
Saving as little as 25 cents per week allows the purchase of
life-transforming items. Families save for income producing items
such as a fishing net, piglets, chickens, oxen, a watering can, or
a bicycle to take produce to market. This, in turn, brings the
family a stable food supply and regular income - sometimes for the
first time - and allow for steadily increasing weekly savings.
Most families remain in the Family Partnership programme for
about five to seven years, at which time they have usually attained
food, income security and some form of health care, as well as put
their children in school.
There are currently more than 60,856 families (486,848
dependants) in the Family Partnership programme in 15 project
areas. During the next twelve months we expect to have 79,876
families with 639,008 dependants.
In the year ended 31 August 2012, our families saved an
astonishing $2,680,461.98 through their weekly .25 cents savings.
Amazingly these savings turned into 9 million dollars worth of
purchases and units of changes for our families.
There were 102,670 changes in basic needs - needs such as at
least two nutritious meals per day; basic needs such as pots and
pans, blankets, mosquito nets, needs such as clothing.
31,805 families were able to improve their security through the
improvement of their housing; through the building of latrines;
through the gift of light by purchasing batteries.
13,799 families were able to buy some form of transportation
while all of our families (64,330 units of income generation) were
enabled to increase their incomes through small businesses, farming
and animal husbandry.
This year, 11,382 families were able to start raising pigs,
14,896 families began raising chickens and ducks, and another 532
families started raising fish and frogs. The ingenuity of
some of our families is amazing - we have some families that
have even started raising crickets!
Over 200,000 families have "graduated" from the programme since
inception. This year 2,900 families graduated from our programs.
Graduations are difficult as families don't like to leave our
programs. It takes an average of 5 years for families to move from
absolute poverty to middle class rural Cambodian families. At the
end of our relationship, families have attained their basic needs,
they have 4-6 sources of income, they have access to water,
electricity of some form, transportation and 4 out of their 5
school aged children in school. The families have traveled a hard
road. Their determination, their change in how they see themselves,
their pride in what they have achieved is wonderful to see.
For a donation of just SGD$25, one family can be supported for
one year in Family Partnership. For questions or more information,
please contact email@example.com.
© Tabitha Foundation (Singapore) 2011 All rights reserved.