More than a Museum - More of a Home
The Relief Center is now closed. Following a fire at the Cambodia Landmine Museum in late August 2018, the children were all moved to other facilities in Siem Reap, where they are being adequately taken care of. For the foreseeable future, the children will be staying at these new facilities in town, run by local NGOs. Living in Siem Reap instead of in Banteay Srey, where the Museum is located, gives the children access to better schools so that they can receive a better education. Since the facilities they’re now staying at are also a lot larger than the Museum’s Relief Center, the children also have many more peers to play and socialize with. We are confident the children are safe and well taken care of at these facilities, and we will of course remain in touch with them and continue to support them in any way we are able to.
The children at our Relief Center range in age from 8 to 21 years old. They attend the public government school near the museum either during morning or afternoon sessions. When they are not in the public government school, they study in the 4 room school building we have built back behind the museum! We teach classes there as well to enhance the education the students receive. We have 2 Khmer teachers, an English language teacher, an art room, computer room, a library, and a playground. Once our children have graduated from high school, they are eligible to receive a university scholarship from us. As of 2018, we have 4 students that attend university in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
The history of the Museum School goes back to when Aki Ra first started his original museum. He found child victims of landmines after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. It was then that he had the idea to bring home these children to raise as his own. Since then, we have added a lot to the program, i.e. creating the Relief Center, to enrich their lives.
Many children living at the Relief Center today have been abandoned by their families, or orphaned, some come from destitute families, and others suffer from Polio. The Relief Center is supported by the income of the Museum, and is much more than an orphanage. It is a life giving opportunity for children who would otherwise have no chance to receive an education or to become productive members of society.
To help our kids out, we have created a Wish List for visitors who would like to bring along items to donate that can be found here. Items we receive will be used either at the Relief Center or sent out to schools built by our sister NGO, the Rural School Village Program (RSVP).
The Australian Project
This project was set in motion in 2009 when three Australian couples (the Baillies, Selfs and McBrides), visited Vietnam and Cambodia.
They decided they wanted to help the underprivileged, particularly children in the Indo-China area, that had been so badly affected by the Vietnam War and other conflicts. On a return trip in 2011 to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Aussie Group visited the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center near Siem Reap. They met our staff and the children who live at the Relief Center. The Aussie Group realized that this was the type of “goodwill” project they were looking to support.
The aim of the project was to acquire an additional hectare of land behind the existing Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center and add certain improvements to this land including a brick wall to surround it and some building structures. The total cost of the project was estimated to be between 45,000.00 USD and 50,000.00 USD.
The hectare of land was used to establish a small, sustainable farm for our students and staff. Hopefully, this will also help reduce food costs and enable the children to learn improved farming techniques. The staff also hopes to use the farm as a means to reach out to the local community and teach local farmers different methods of farming and ways to increase their yields. The land may also be used for future expansion at the Relief Center.
For further information on this project and how to donate please contact:
Landmine Relief Fund
Telephone: 855 (0)15 674 163