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Greetings from Cambodia!
As part of our work here to educate people as to the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance and to work towards assisting those that have been injured, I have been traveling to the remote and heavily mined and UXO contaminated provinces from Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham in the south to Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey and Battambang in the north.
There was a landmine accident in Oddar Meanchey last week that injured seven people, so our work here, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement as well as grassroots donors around the world is very important and pressing.
CPI is working directly with the Cambodia Mine Action Authority (CMAA) to establish survivor networks throughout the country so that we can best assist accident survivors and prevent future accidents, like the one in Oddar Meanchey.
Through personal interviews with ERW survivors [photo here], CPI will then provide services including, medical treatments for new victims, care for previous victims and sustainable livelihoods development through CPI programs that help create on-going income-generation activities for these victims of conflict.
Additionally CPI is working with the Khmer Magic Music Bus project bringing music and music education to survivor network communities then providing mines risk education and awareness to the concert goers. [photos here & here]
I had a chance to sample a local delicacy, deep fried tarantula. The video, for those of you without arachnophobia, is at this link.