Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) is an all Khmer (Cambodian) demining company. It was founded by Khmers, for Khmers.
It's founder Aki Ra, an ex-child soldier, fought throughout the Cambodian wars of the late 20th century. He fought with the Khmer Rouge. Captured by the Vietnamese, he fought with them. And when they left he fought with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. And throughout those many years he watched the horror of landmines destroy life after life.
In the early 1990s he got the opportunity to help clean up some the problems the armies he fought for created. And he found he was very good at it.
He'd found his trade.
He cleared landmines and UXOs for years wherever he found them. He cleared them alone, and he cleared them for free.
He's now started a new de-mining NGO (non governmental org.). He calls it Cambodian Self Help Demining. It's mission is to clear landmines and UXOs in 'low priority' villages' throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Aren't there other groups doing this, you might ask? Yes. There are several groups working in Cambodia to rid the country of the scourge of these terrible weapons. And they are doing wonderful work, life-threatening work. And they too work for free.
But with as many as 5,000,000 landmines left in the country, and no one knows how many UXOs, the job is simply overwhelming. Existing groups are working in heavily mined areas. They don't have the ability to be everywhere.
And CSHD is Khmers working for Khmers.
CSHD's dream is to make Cambodia safe for its people.
And they don't want to wait for others to do the work. It's their country. They want to help.
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