Breaking the chains of poverty: Poung's story

February 2024


The reality of poverty means parents often feel they have no choice but to make the heart-wrenching decision of leaving their children in pursuit of employment. This was a situation single mum Poung found herself in. “If I didn’t leave to go to work, we wouldn’t have been able to eat,” she shared.

“I couldn’t take my children with me. So I had to leave them with my mum. But when I got to the new job, they never paid me. I didn’t have a salary for 4-5 months. So I left the job and returned with nothing. It was so difficult, and I didn’t have a home. My children didn’t have enough. I felt so bad for them.”

Poung would hug her children to sleep at night and cry as she wondered why she couldn’t give them a better life. When they were unwell, she was unable to take them to the hospital. Even if medical treatment was available at no cost, the financial strain of transportation and the necessity to purchase food and water during overnight stays was too challenging.

The turning point came when a compassionate neighbour alerted the Village Hive about her family’s circumstances. The Village Hive team co-created a strategy to assist Poung, encompassing income generation through a new business, educational support for her children (including books, uniforms, shoes, and bicycles), provisions of food supplies, a renovation of her house, and the provision of a motorbike.

This support altered Poung’s life, inspiring her to persevere and shape a new future for her children. “Now that I have my own motorbike, I can take my children to school by myself. After I take my children to school, I go to work. I have a beautiful new house and a new bathroom. I’m so happy.”