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“My name is Siphon. From 2017, I worked as a volunteer in the community fishery management committee. I want to protect natural resources both in the water and on land… I gather for patrolling in this lake, and sometimes in the river.” 

  • Siphon is a community activist and volunteer working to protect and preserve the land and waters her community relies on 
  • Siphon was trained and coached by Oxfam partner 3SPN to speak out and advocate for her community on climate issues 
  • As a volunteer for the local fisheries network, she helped stop a private banana company from polluting the lake 

“They fully covered the waste with soil, but we knew” 

Siphon’s community in Cambodia relies on Boeng Santhow Lake for fishing, watering their crops and general use. But a private banana company began threatening the health of their waterways. 

“We saw that the company was throwing waste into the lake … we returned home and reported this to the authorities. We also reported this to the fishery administration. Three days after that, the company poured soil to cover up the waste … We were patrolling the next time when we saw the water pumps. Seeing the water pumps, we reported them.” 

Cambodia: Siphon is a community activist who was trained and coached by 3SPN to advocate for community issues with the local authorities. She is a leader in her community and a part of the local fisheries network. Photo: Patrick Moran/Oxfam

Climate advocacy and poverty 

Millions of people around the world rely on the earth for food and livelihoods. But too often, the communities who’ve spent generations nurturing their lands and waters are denied their fair share of its natural resources. This puts their very survival at risk and threatens to push communities into poverty.  

These communities are rarely involved in the decisions and policies that affect their lives and lands. This is even more true for women, who can face additional barriers when it comes to decision making in their communities because of their gender. 

Siphon, Oxfam and you 

Today, Siphon is a powerful climate advocate in her community. But she credits her work with Oxfam partner 3SPN for helping her gain the confidence and resources to get there. 3SPN conducts training, coaching, female participatory action research and networking. They support women to be involved in local planning processes, and assist the community to meet with the government officials yearly to raise the priorities. 

“I received the knowledge from 3SPN and other partner organisations via the 3SPN network. I attended different training courses. And I have a better understanding compared to before I joined. I am brave, I can speak up in public, I can raise issues in public forums. I represent opinions related to the community.” 

Cambodia: Siphon is a community activist who was trained and coached by 3SPN to advocate for community issues with the local authorities. She is a leader in her community and a part of the local fisheries network. Photo: Patrick Moran/Oxfam

Thanks in part to Siphon’s advocacy, the banana company agreed to stop interfering with the lake. 

“We met the representative of the company … We told them to take away the pumping machine from Santhow lake and we made an agreement that stated that the company is not allow to pump water, throw the waste into the lake, and fill up the soil around the lake.” 

“Please include more women”

“In the past, they didn’t value women’s voices but now they do. If we have reasonable ideas, they respond to us.  

For me, I hope that all officials will agree to include women’s voice in community work. If there is a training course, please include more women participation, to give them confidence like I have.” 

“The natural resources along the river are the fish habitats. We conserve the fish for our next generation … We have to work together in term of conservation, because it will provide the long-term benefits for next generations.” 

This work is only possible with support from people like you. Learn more about how you’re helping us alleviate poverty through our gender equality and climate justice work. 

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From supporting First Peoples to thrive and providing humanitarian aid to advocating for climate justice, gender equality and better livelihoods, here’s how we’re working towards a world without poverty.

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