Mr. Yuk Yun, a 72 years old who currently lives with his wife and 4 grandchildren in Rum Chek village of Battambang province. Due to poor living conditions and limited work, all of his children have migrated to Thailand for work in the labor industry and have left their small children with Mr. Yun and his wife.

Mr. Yun and his wife were growing a small amount of crops to feed their grandchildren but other than this, they did not have enough money to provide school or other daily living expenses. Mr. Yun said that “My wife and I are old and we can’t do a younger persons job anymore. So we do cropping to feed our family”. Sometimes, his children are able to send them a small amount of money but not enough to send the children to school.

Mr. Yun and his wife joined as members of the OPA in their village and were able to request a loan of 400,000 Riels ($100 US dollars) from the OPA to expand their cropping, this could potentially increase earnings for the family. After receiving a loan from the OPA, Mr. Yun used this to buy more cropping seeds to grow beans, morning glory and cabbage in their small garden. After the crops were harvested, he began to earn regular income ranging between 5,000 Riels and 8,000 Riels ($1.25 US dollar to $2 US dollars) a day depending on the season.

After one year, Mr. Yun was able to pay back all of the loan to the OPA and saved enough money to buy medicine when someone in the family become unwell. Mr Yun can also afford to send his grandchildren to school and buy all the school materials required. Mr. Yun said, “At an old age like me, no one dare to give a loan but the OPA did. The OPA not only gave me a loan but also referred me to attend a training on agricultural techniques and cropping which allow me to grow fruitfully. I felt warm and happy to be the member of OPA”.

Unfortunately, in Cambodia there isn’t a social pension system. So unless an older people receives money from their family, they are forced to continue working for security. OPA’s assist older people learn skills for sustainable job opportunities that are age friendly and meet the needs of the growing economy.