Support Victims of Cambodian Landmine Explosion

On January 10th, 2022, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team 3 of Cambodian Self-Help Demining was responding to a call-out from the Cambodian Army in Preah Vihear Province to identify and dispose of explosive ordnance left over from the fighting that has plagued Cambodia for decades.
While working with the remnants of war, an explosion happened, instantly killing three of the four-man EOD Team, and seriously injuring the only survivor. He was rushed to a hospital in the neighboring province- he is expected to make a full recovery. An ongoing investigation is underway to determine what exactly triggered the explosion.
Cambodia Self-Help Deming is in a period of mourning, never before experiencing such a devastating event in its history as the only all Cambodian Demining NGO in the country. Each member of EOD Team 3 was married with kids ranging in age from 4 months to 8 years. This Go Fund Me is to raise funds to help support the families of those lost in this horrible incident- to ease some of their pain and burden.
Our goal is to raise $15,000 to be distributed evenly among the three families. The money donated to this Go Fund Me will be handled by the Landmine Relief Fund (LMRF), an American 501c3 Charity based in Cambodia that has been supporting CSHD since before its inception in 2008. LMRF has pledged all of the donations directly received for the month of January to go to the families of EOD Team 3, already having raised over $6,000. You can read more about LMRF at the links below. Every dollar that is donated to this Go Fund Me will go to the same cause- ensuring that the families of those killed in this horrific accident will be financially secure during their time of mourning.
Sadly, this is a story all to common in Cambodia. Cambodia is still one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Cambodians have suffered through decades of conflict, including a civil war, the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and genocide, American bombings, and Vietnamese occupation. Landmines and unexploded ordnances are left over from this fighting, contaminating the land in Cambodia. Dozens of civilians are injured or killed each year, and land that could be used for agriculture or to build schools and housing is left to waste.
Millions of landmines have now been cleared, but there is still a long way to go; it is estimated Cambodia will not be entirely cleared of landmines for several decades to come. There are certainly hundreds of thousands of landmines, probably millions, left in the country, and unexploded ordnance contamination could exceed that of landmines.
The brave men of EOD Team 3 have risked everything for years in the service of their country and humanity. On January 10th they sacrificed their lives to make others safe. We honor their lives, and their sacrifice.
They worked to make this little part of the world safer for us, their families, and generations yet unborn. They could have done anything, but they chose to spend their treasure making the world a better place. Please consider honoring their lives by donating to this Go Fund Me and supporting their families.
We are all poorer with them gone. We are all better having had them here.
Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
What is Cambodia Self-Help Demining?
Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) is an all-Cambodian NGO that works to eradicate its country from the terrors of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over from decades of war. CSHD has cleared over 231 minefields, thousands of pieces of ordnance, and approximately 8 million square meters of land in Cambodia assisting tens of thousands of people. It works to erase the explosive remnants of war that have littered Cambodia for decades. CSHD is fully licensed by Cambodian Mine Action Authority (CMAA), the reigning authority for all demining and EOD organizations in the country. The mission of CSHD is to clear landmines and UXOs in rural villages throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia that are often low priority for other demining NGOs and government institutions.
Cambodia Self-Help Demining was officially founded in 2008 by Aki Ra, an ex-Khmer Rouge child soldier. He was taken from his family and became a soldier at about 10 years old. Later captured by the Vietnamese Army, he fought with them until they left the country and then fought for the Cambodian Army. When the UN came to Cambodia, he worked with them and 2 French NGOs clearing landmines. He returned to the villages where he had fought as a child and began removing what he could find. People heard about his work and began calling him for help, leading him to clear mines independently using a pair of pliers and stick for the next ten years. Aki Ra would later receive formal demining and EOD training and accreditation before working on the creation of CSHD.
CSHD has been working every day in rural villages throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia with one 30-person demining team and three EOD teams. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to make their own country safe for its people for the past 13 years. You can Read more about CSHD and the Landmine Relief Fund at the links below.
None of this is done alone.
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Bill Morse
Los Angeles, CA

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