the2hproject

Project: Beyond Business

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26

Feb 09

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Inspired by life as a child in a Khmer Rouge labour camp, Piseth has worked with The 2h Project to establish a Micro-fi nance Organisation called Smile of World. Smile of World provides interest-free loans to help establish desperately poor Cambodians in their own small business.

One of the keys to the success of micro-fi nance or ‘banking to the poor’ is the recycling of loan dollars. In 6 to 12 months the loans are repaid and the money is ‘paid forward’ as another loan, so multiplying the value of each dollar in reducing poverty.

With close to a 100% pay back rate the investment is having a significant impact.

The cost to establish a local business in Cambodia is a lot less than Australia – just $300 is all that is needed!

It’s Smiles All Round

Happiness can too often become a goal we reserve for ourselves but for Piseth real joy is found in helping others smile too. Piseth knows too well the pain of struggling through life. As a small boy he was separated from his parents by the Khmer Rouge, never to see his father again. He was taken into a labour camp and forced to carry rock for 12 hours a day. He can still remember lying in the mud at night trying to sleep in the rain under a plastic sheet. Inspired by the hopelessness of yesterday Piseth has started a not for profit, local, Non Government Organisation (NGO) called Smile of World.

Today things are different in Cambodia but there are still many people struggling in the region’s poorest economy. Smile of World have set themselves to break the cycle of poverty by providing training, business plans and financial assistance for local people to develop their own small business. The results have been amazing! People who were earning less than a dollar a day scavenging for plastic bottles at the city dump are now running their own successful business and making plans to grow into the future. The interest free loans are being repaid and the recipients have been shown the benefit of saving. Parents can now afford to send their children to school, purchase basic medicines and have enough money to buy all the nutritious food they need for their families.

But one of the most moving aspects of this project is that the people are voluntarily making extra contributions to Smile of World so that the goodwill can be paid forward to others just like them. These people have not only been helped by the partnership of The 2h Project and Smile of World but now they want pass the smiles forward! The cost to establish a local business through Smile of World is just $300 – a lot less than it costs to start a small business in Australia! Families, schools, work mates and small business owners have already made the investment that will be paid forward again and again.

Why not join with your family or friends or workmates in the excitement of ensuring that someone’s future will be free of poverty – make a Smile of World donation today!

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