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As we enjoy the end of the year’s celebrations, the open-air pits, which are the only source of water for countless families in Sen Sok will begin to dry up (learn more).

In addition, an especially unforgiving rainy season brought floods upon the villagers, which devastated the better part of their crops and polluted the unprotected water supply of over 9,000 people.

Enters Rotary International

But thanks to the efforts of the Pasadena Rotary Club, hundreds of families in Sen Sok received the gift of clean water. By the end of the year, a total of three entire villages will have benefited from the program through the support of the Pasadena Club.

Our objective is now to involve more clubs from Rotary District 5300 in an effort to bring sustainable water to all 16 villages in which we work. The project is currently being presented to Rotary clubs in the Greater Los Angeles Area (read more).

Water: source of opportunity

Next year, when enough wells have been built, Community First will begin helping the families of Sen Sok grow and expand their farms (learn more).

In the villages of Sen Sok, most families who do not have access to water cannot farm their lands, or provide for their families. Often times, parents will leave their children behind to go work abroad as migrant workers, months at the time.

We need to raise $54,000 by January 31st 2013

This is to ensure that the families receiving water for the first time will also be given the resources they need to grow the seeds of change in their community.

With each new farm, parents will be given an alternative to earning a living as migrant workers. And with your support, families will have for the first time the opportunity to stay home and care for their families by becoming successful farmers.

During this season of giving, let us think of those who are eager to grow their own food and feed their family as they get water for the first time in the life. Please, consider helping families by donating towards out agricultural program as part of your year-end giving.

Donate Now!

Sponsor alternative farming in an entire village (read more)

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Episode One of the webdocumentary series launches! See the trailer and get updates on the web-release of our first episode on Water & Agriculture in Cambodia, featuring the lives of the villagers our organization has helped over the years.

Three additional episodes will be released starting this November. Stay tuned for more details!

Watch the trailer:

Produced by Donegee Media, the project was entirely shot on-location in the villages of Sen Sok last August, on a generous pro-bono basis. Directing the project is Victoria Hungerford and Danielle Phann is director of photography.

The Community First team also extends their most sincere thanks to Thomas Hurst and Nic Tourani who also volunteered as part of the film crew this past summer.


This project would not have been possible without the generous financial support of early donors of the project – thank you!

Episode One: Water & Agriculture

Here is episode one of the four-part web-documentary series “Sen Sok: a web-documentary about the villagers of rural Cambodia” 

Meet Uncle Thoeun from Kok Yeang Village, and Mrs. San Chumraon and find our how the gift of clean water changed their lives!

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Global Water Cause Global Health Cause

Sen Sok Water Campaign.  Bringing clean water to 9,000 people though partnership with Rotary District 5300.

November 2012 marked the start of the Sen Sok Water Campaign, in which Community First Initiatives began to drill deep water wells into the 16 villages that form the larger conglomeration of Sen Sok in northwestern Cambodia. When the project was completed a year later in November 2013, the villagers of Sen Sok had access for the first time to a clean, healthy and sustainable source of water.

A large part of the success of the campaign can be attributed the Rotary Club of District 5300 in Pasadena, California. The 200 plus members of Pasadena’s Rotary Club pulled together during an annual Gala at the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena to successfully raise $25000 for the drilling of 16of wells, one for each village. Upon completion of the project, Sen Sok and its population of nearly 10,000 villagers are served by the new wells.

Community First - Hand Cranked Water Well

Each well is able to support villagers for many years to come, particularly because of the care that went into the preparation of the drilling. Instead of blindly choosing drilling locations, Pierre and the rest of the team at Community First consulted with both the locally-hired drilling contractor as well as the villagers to decide upon the locations containing the best quality supplies of water. Villagers contributed land and well as any construction materials they could provide and the drilling contractor did the rest. To read more about the details of the wells, click here: http://communityfirst-global.org/wells/.

The impact on Sen Sok and the lives of the people living there cannot be understated. The transition from water sourced from hand-dug pits like the one seen in the picture below, to the well water immediately reduced the number of diseases. Without having to walk many kilometers to source water, villagers can now focus more time on maintaining their rice fields and other crops.

Community First - Hand Dug Water Pit 1

With the company of Rotarian John Whaley, who is also Chairman of the Board of Community First, we returned to Sen Sok in July of 2014 to get an update. The details of our return trip can be found in an upcoming blog post.

We cannot thank the Pasadena Rotarians enough for their support, and we are excited to continue to work together to impact the lives Cambodian villagers in life-changing ways.

The five-part documentary series on the Sen Sok village can be viewed here: http://communityfirst-global.org/sen-sok-the-web-documentary/


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