Cambodian Landmine Museum
The Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Facility is a museum located in Cambodia, south of the Banteay Srey Temple complex, 25 kilometers north of Siem Reap, and inside the Angkor National Park.
Tourists began hearing stories about a young Khmer man who cleared landmines with a stick and had a house full of defused ordnance. Ra began charging a dollar to see his collection, using the money to help further his activities. Thus began the Cambodia Landmine Museum.
Founded in 1997 by ex-child soldier Aki Ra, the Cambodia Landmine Museum tells the story of his rise from a 10 year old fighter in the Khmer Rouge to his present place as an internationally recognized hero.
The Museum tells the story of landmines in Cambodia and the country’s continuing efforts to rid itself of the aftermath of over 35 years of warfare. Here you can see (defused and safe) landmines up close, find out how they work and how you can help Cambodia and the rest of the world in the on-going efforts of clearing these weapons from the face of the earth.
In 2010 Aki Ra was chosen by CNN as one of its Top 10 Heroes of the Year.
Aki Ra began his quest to make Cambodia safer in the early 90’s after he went to work for the UN celaring Angkor Wat of landmines and unexploded ordinance. He began by looking for them with a stick, in flip flops and a t-shirt. When he found them he defused them by hand and took some of the shells home where tourists came to see them. While clearing he also began bringing home wounded and orphaned children and raising them along side his own children. Today the Landmine Museum Relief Center cares for nearly 3 dozen of these victims.
The Museum is located inside Angkor National Park, 7km south of Banteay Srey Temple You do not need a ‘Temple Pass’ to visit the Museum.
MISSION OF CAMBODIAN LANDMINE MUSEUM
The Cambodian Landmine Museum Relief Facility (CLMMRF) is more than a museum. It is also a home that provides education and support for dozens of at-risk youth and landmine affected children rescued by the CLMMRF NGO. Many children who are part of this family suffered overwhelming hardships. The Cambodian Landmine Museum Relief Facility was created so that it might serve as a place of healing for bodies, hearts and minds. We believe that love, support and education will help secure a better opportunity for the children that live here.
WHO WE ARE
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 difficutlies.
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.
The Relief Facility accepts volunteers to help teach English, work in the Museum and assist in the office. Please see the Volunteer page to learn how to become a volunteer. You cannot simply show up and volunteer. To conform with the Museum’s, as well as international child protection policies, ALL volunteers are pre-screened and must be approved by Museum staff before they can become volunteers.