She is the answer

ActionAid She is the answer UK Aid Match
ActionAid She is the answer UK Aid Match

Around the world, the climate crisis is getting worse. Right now, floodwaters are rising in places like Cambodia, and women and girls are watching their communities sink further into poverty.

Traditional livelihoods - in vulnerable industries like fishing and farming - are facing devastation.

And with less economic power and social standing, women and girls stand to suffer the most.

But across Cambodia - and around the world - it is women and girls who are leading their communities through this crisis.

They are determined. They are resourceful.

And with your help, they are training their families in sustainable farming practices and finding the solutions that can build a climate-resilient future.

Will you support them?

ActionAid she is the answer
ActionAid she is the answer climate change
ActionAid she is the answer hok
ActionAid she is the answer hok

Heng, 36, is a fisherwoman from Kampot province, Cambodia.

She struggles to make enough money to send her children to school, and provide them with enough food.

Sometimes, that means sending her daughters to collect scrap metal to support the family's income.

Much of Cambodia is a floodplain, with 85% of the country’s land within the lower Mekong basin. And in recent years, extreme weather, erratic rainfall and rising sea levels have increasingly caused crop failures and depleted fish stocks.

These unpredictable conditions are making matters worse for Heng.

"Because of the ever-changing conditions of the weather, the strong winds and the rain keep on coming, which results in no fishing for me," she said.

I wouldn’t dare to go out during those times. I would pray for it to stop. I am only doing it because I don’t have a choice… I depend entirely on the weather."

These challenges mean Heng can now only afford to send her children to school once a week. “Seeing other people’s children going to school every day makes me feel bad,” she said. “We just don’t have any choice.”

Thankfully, ActionAid's partner in Cambodia, Rural Friends Community for Development, has now provided Heng with start-up funding, allowing her to start a new business growing produce and processing fish.

"It has helped my family in our time of need," Heng said.

ActionAid she is the answer hok
ActionAid she is the answer punthea
ActionAid she is the answer punthea

Heng's 11-year-old daughter Punthea enjoys going to school, and helping to spread the net on her family's fishing boat when she gets home from school.

But she also contributes around 30% of the family income: in the dry season, she picks up rubbish to sell, earning about 75p per collection.

At home, she cooks rice for the family and cleans the dishes.

Punthea is brave, and she likes helping her family. But no girl should have to work rather than going to school.

When there is a storm, the strong winds scare Punthea, and she worries about the safety of her house.

Sometimes, when conditions are especially bad, her family can no longer fish at all.

When that happens, "there’s nothing to eat and no money to buy any food," Punthea says.

ActionAid she is the answer punthea
ActionAid she is the answer samphy
ActionAid she is the answer samphy

Eng Samphy is an ActionAid Cambodia officer working closely with her community to help them prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.

She trains and support Women's Champions - local women who learn about sustainable farming techniques, develop practices to adapt to the changing climate, and advocate for the rights of women and girls in their community.

"Women’s Champions, after receiving training provided by us, have the capacity and courage to share what they have learnt with their communities," she said.

"So, the communities become aware of and understand climate change and how to adapt their lives.

"In the past, we could easily predict the weather," Eng Samphy says. "The seasons came according to schedule.

"The people could keep planting their crops according to the season. They could easily adapt to it. They were also healthy. Children could go to school because there was no disaster to get in the way.

However, in the present, we have seen a lot of changes. Storms frequently occur everywhere. The flood can occur up to four times in a year. The dry season is drier and longer.

"All these factors affect the lives of the people, their health, their jobs, especially the children, as the disasters keep them away from school, which will have an adverse impact on the quality of their education."

ActionAid she is the answer samphy

The climate crisis is a force to be reckoned with.

ActionAid She is the answer UK Aid Match
ActionAid She is the answer UK Aid Match