Mrs. Phorn Phai, a 74 year old lady who lives in Nom Kreab village in the Battambang Province. Mrs. Phai, is a widower living with her 4 grandchildren because like many in Cambodia, her children have migrated to find work.
Mrs. Phai shared with us that her life had been hard and busy, taking care of her grandchildren and also supporting other villagers as she is a village leader. Mrs. Phai has no time to take care of her health and is not able to go for health check-ups regularly at the health center, “I had high blood pressure but I didn’t have time to go to the health center regularly. I didn’t care much about my health and never did any exercise” she said. Mrs. Phai has also expressed feelings of loneliness and isolation on occasion, wishing to talk and share some of her difficulties or stories with other older people but most are living in different villages.
Upon joining the OPA in her village, she was then elected as a WoW group leader. Mrs. Phai found her livelihood changed for the better and this helped her wellbeing. Mrs. Phai now has time to meet and talk with older people, have fun and enjoy the exercise programs of the WoW group. Mrs. Phai now also has easier access to regular health check-ups.
Mrs. Phai has shared with us that she is very happy and excited to have an opportunity to join the amazing 5 Day ToT training on the Intergenerational Self Help Club model (ISHC) and she had learnt a lot about activities she could do to help her feel better everyday. “I like this very much with the exercise activities, game and the livelihood topics during this training. After this training, I have been able to use these exercise every morning”.
Within a few months, Mrs. Phai found her health becoming stronger after starting regular exercise and drinking EM water. Even her blood pressure has become more stable. “I felt stronger and better upon practicing exercise every morning and drinking the EM water and I have shared the knowledge practices with my WoW group members and applied with them in every monthly meeting” Mrs. Phai said.
With increased wellbeing, Mrs. Phai is now exploring a new experience of growing eggplants from the EM fertilizer methods. After a few months, Mrs. Phai has found her eggplants getting more fruitful after using the EM fertilizer that she has made. “I’m very happy to see my eggplants growing very fast and fruitfully”. She has also put this made EM mixed with water for her daily drinking. “I have put this EM into a drinking water for my drink everyday”.
Often, older people can become isolated and lonely. Especially in cases were older people become limited with movement due to ageing, they are often left in the home and are rarely able to leave the house as family are unable to assist them or have migrated for work. HAC that working with older people means more than advocacy or financial security, it means community and social inclusion.