THE COW BANKS
The Cow Bank is a simple concept. Villagers who are unable to deal in cash through lack of education or understanding receive a cow. The family is responsible for taking care of it and mating it with another cow. In the meantime, the cow provides labour and manure to improve subsistence farming productivity.
Pot Sothey is 30 years old and looks like any other Cambodian villager. She sports a cheerful disposition and has a young child scampering around her while she talks to the other women villagers outside her house. It is a typical stilted Khmer structure that looks no different from the others when it is set against the late afternoon sun. Her house sits on the edge of the village and looks out to the vast brown silted plains that have yet to swell with floodwater.
Parents in the Prey Kampeng village became wary of sending their children to school, following two motor accidents involving children who were on their way to school. Some of the children also stopped attending school as they were afraid of getting injured in motor accidents.
The village chief and Community Based Organisers rallied the families of Prey Kampeng to build a primary school in their Prey Kampeng village so that the children would not have to travel too far and reduce the chances of accidents.