Hairy Biker Dave Myers inspired by Cambodia aid efforts

The Westmorland Gazette: Dave Myers meets a 65-year-old rice farmer in Prum Kong Dave Myers meets a 65-year-old rice farmer in Prum Kong

HAIRY Biker Dave Myers has spoken out about his ‘inspiring’ trip to Cambodia as part of a project to highlight hunger in Third World countries.

The former Strictly Come Danc- ing contestant visited farmers whose lives have been transformed by charity Oxfam to mark the release of its report into the food crisis faced by millions.

“One in eight people go hungry, even though actually there’s enough food in the world for everybody,” the Furness-based TV chef told the Gazette.

“I just hope this trip has raised awareness. I now have first-hand knowledge of what goes on, so I can tell that story to others and raise support.”

The trip came as the charity released its ‘Good Enough to Eat’ report, put together to create a ‘global snapshot’ of the challenges people face getting the food they need. Cambodia came 89th out of 125.

Dave said he had been ‘inspired’ by what he saw, with Oxfam helping to lift people out of poverty.

“It is amazing to be able to witness firsthand,” he said. “I was able to see for myself how the simplest of solutions can have a positive ripple effect to individuals, their communities, and beyond.”

During the five-day trip he visited three Oxfam projects across the country. In one rural village, new methods of rice cultivation have been taught to farmers, enabling them to produce more food, while another project has seen women given mobile phones so they can set up food businesses with the technology to keep an eye on market prices and weather conditions.

“All of the people I spoke to told me how far-reaching this support has been. This extra income has enabled them to send their children to school, opening up their future life choices,” he said.

On the final day, he visited a water and sanitation project in the country’s Kratie province.

But, with one in three people still being forced to drink dirty water, and spend half their incomes on medicine, he said more still needed to be done.

“I think British people are really good in times of crisis, for example with the Philippines tragedy. But what’s needed is regular donations. That’s what really keeps these big projects going,” he added.

Oxfam is asking local people to donate £4 a month, by texting LIFT to 70064

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