Cultivating Hope: A Journey of Transformation with Best CHOICES

My name Buth Socheng, 37 years old, married my husband Pech Den, 43 years old. He is a palm tree clamber, and I plant vegetables. We have three children and live in Bakan district, Pursat province. I am a farmer and plant vegetables. Before joining the Best CHOICES project, my family lived with a lack of hygiene, drinking unclean water, and lack of child care especially my both children. Without education, children live in danger and I do not know how to help them. I also noticed that I have limited time to understand the importance of children’s development and growth.

I could not understand and gain knowledge in feeding children or developing small businesses around the house, and I would miss the opportunity to participate in Reflect Circle discussions. But now the Best CHOICES project of ADRA has provided support to my family at the right time.

I joined with Reflect Circle group of the Best CHOICES for three years from 2021 until now. I have applied positive parenting skills and practices to family behavior change by understanding how to feed children, Learning Through Play (LTP), and preparing home gardening which is enabling me to prepare food think about good food for healthy growing children, and eat a healthy diet including colorful kinds of vegetables-meats-fruits, and gain more understanding on child development.

I learned in Reflect Circle topics discussion about child care, clean water, hygiene and sanitation, kitchen gardening, facilitating the children’s learning, nice talking to the children, taking care and safeguarding of children, gender equality and responsibility, being the saving group member, increasing family confidence for supporting a family food security, health care, and practice and share knowledge to a neighbor after joining a group discussion. My husband and I help balance childcare and household responsibilities. We support each other in caring for children by providing free time for children to play, play with our children, and encourage back-and-forth conversations with our children, we also teach our children to manage rubbish and bring rubbish to trash bags by themselves which we never did before.

But after joining the Best CHOICES project, we have changed our response to our child’s needs and we communicate with our children with soft communication. My husband usually recites the Khmer alphabet and Khmer songs with my children to support my child practicing Khmer songs, build good relationships, and well communicate with our children.

We are happy that we can earn more income support for the family by planting vegetables around the house to sell at the local market and for family consumption. We would like to say thanks to ADRA the Best CHOICES project for supporting my family and community with all technical assistance both soft and hard skills which helped us to strengthen knowledge and household income in the family. I am proud of how far we’ve come. Our journey with Best CHOICES has not only changed our lives but has also inspired hope in our community.

The Best Community Household Opportunities through Improved Community Empowered Solutions (Best CHOICES) Project is supported by the Australian Government and ADRA Australia.