Lak Senan and her husband, Nub Sena, live in the small village of Phnum Rai with their young son, Seyla Sovann. Until the arrival of a CFC-supported organization in 2013, their home was surrounded by minefields. Unable to farm the land due to the hidden mines, Nub Sena made a precarious living cutting down trees in the bordering forest.
The minefield made day-to-day life in the village dangerous. As the community grew, more and more villagers were forced to encroach on mine-contaminated land.
In the two years that have passed since then, the organization has helped transform Phnum Rai and the lives of its inhabitants. Lak Senan became one of many villagers to join their training program and now works to help demine the land. She earns a regular salary and is able to work around her son’s childcare.
Once their own home had been cleared of mines, Nub Sena participated in community training in agricultural skills, learning how to keep chickens and grow vegetables. Every month, the couple use a portion of Lak’s salary from her work with the organization to buy woodcraft tools. Nub Sena plans to set up his own business.
Lak Senan’s employment has carved a path out of poverty for her family and many others in her community. So far, this organization has cleared over 18 hectares of land and destroyed more than 440 anti-personnel mines at Phnum Rai. A new community pond and water pump have been installed, a perfect example of how mine clearance facilitates rural infrastructure. Where there were once minefields, there is now sustainable and inclusive development.