(MCC Photo/Michael Bade)

Since joining one of the village savings groups of MCC partner Takeo Community Forestry and Integrated Development Association, Mom Chhoeun has been able to repair her house, increase inventory in her store and begin raising pigs. “But most important,” she says, walking over to a machine with hoses nearly 4 inches wide on both ends, “is this big water pump we purchased so that we can irrigate our fields.”

In the field Chhoeun pulls up one of the plants by the roots. “See. Peanuts.” She smiles and holds out a bunch. The field holds hundreds of peanut plants, each with 20 or more peanuts under the ground. That represents a lot of protein in Cambodia, where according to the United Nations 40 percent of all children are chronically malnourished, the bulk of those in rural areas. “The village savings group has made a huge difference to our family,” Chhoeun says. “I don’t know where we would be without it.”

Read more about the difference savings groups are making for families here.

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