Land Mine Museum and Relief Facility
The Cambodia Landmine Museum has evolved from a small shack museum by former soldier and deminer Akira to a formal museum and charitable organization. The museum exhibits a variety of defused mines, bombs and other ordinance as well as information on mines, demining and Cambodia’s mine problem.
The Cambodia Landmine Museum is a Cambodian NGO, run by and for Cambodians.
It exists for three reasons:
* To tell the story of landmines in Cambodia, how they have impacted the country’s past, present and will continue to impact its future. The story is told through the story of Aki Ra, our founder, who was suppressed into the Khmer Rouge Army as a child soldier, and spent his youth fighting in the wars that ravaged his country for nearly 35 years.
* To show the world that, no matter who you are, whatever your background, your education, you can make a difference in this world.
* The Museum hosts a Relief Facility for at-risk village children. The money raised by the museum allows this facility to continue. At the present time (late 2012) the Museum supports a community of nearly 75 men, women, and children.
The Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Facility (Museum for short) was established in 1997 by ex-child soldier Aki Ra. After years of fighting he returned to the villages in which he planted thousands of mines and began removing them, by hand, and defusing them with homemade tools.
In 2008 he established a formal demining NGO, Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) –www.cambodianselfhelpdemining.org. CSHD, a separate NGO from the Museum, which clears landmines in small villages throughout the country.
While working to make his country safe, Aki Ra saw many children wounded by landmines and living desperately poor lives. He brought them to his home, where he and his wife raised them as their own, alongside their own children. Originally all the children at the facility were landmine victims. Today the Facility cares for children who suffer from a variety of physical, emotional, and familial difficulties.
The Relief Facility houses over 3 dozen children from small villages in Cambodia. All children are educated, and are provided with continuing education. The Facility has its own school to augment the children’s public education, a computer lab, a library, English language classes, a playground, and a staff of 14.
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