Pigs Keep Keb in School

Keb’s father doesn’t understand why I am surprised when he tells me that his six year old son, Keb, loves pigs.

Keb lives in Soppheuk village with his mother, father, and six siblings. Keb’s father and mother work hard in the fields trying to provide enough food for the family of nine. In years when the rice harvest is good, the family has enough food for everyone- for about 6 months of the year. 

But the remaining time is a hungry time for the family. 

Keb and his brothers and sisters have to go out to the forest to find bamboo or other foods.  In the past Keb’s siblings were not able to attend school very much because the parents needed the kids to help look for food in the forest and work in the fields.

That was before pigs. 

Two years ago World Vision staff and local government staff came to Keb’s village and trained Keb’s father and five other families in improved techniques for pig-raising. The families also received training on common animal diseases. 

World Vision also trained government staff in proper transport, storage, and delivery of vaccinations for pigs. 

And then, World Vision provided one pig to Keb’s father. 

Keb doesn’t exactly remember when the pigs arrived, but Keb’s father says that he remembers his son being very interested in the pigs. At the time,Keb was too young to attend school, so he would spend the day following the pigs and watching them eat.  Keb’s father knew that Keb had an interest in animals, so Keb’s father started having Keb help care for the pigs. That was two years ago.

Now the family has 18 pigs!

In the past year, Keb’s family has sold 10 pigs, earning about $1000 in total. Now the family has enough money to provide school uniforms and materials for all the children in school. Since Keb is in school, at the end of the day he races home to feed the pigs. 

Keb’s mother and father believe in the importance of education, so they try to send their children to school as much as they can.  This year they were even able to buy one set of school uniforms and some basic educational materials for each of their children. 

Keb laughs when his father tells him that the pigs bought his school uniform.  “Pigs have made a big difference in your life,” his father tells him, “we are thankful for pigs.”