Aki Ra distinguished as one of CNN Top 10 Heroes in 2010 created this flagship museum to learn more about the scourge of landmines and support its victims.
What to experience?
A short motorbike ride out of the popular tourism town of Siem Reap can bring you to the famous Cambodian Landmine Museum. The Landmine Museum is a rich resource of information about landmines and UXO with many educational displays detailing the story of landmines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) in Cambodia.
Housed at the Museum are a number of exhibits, photos and explanations of the instruments of war, as well as a documentary that will tie all of the pieces together. Watching the documentary is sombre yet fascinating experience that provides visitors the opportunity to learn about the impacts left over from an almost forgotten war.
Viewing the relatively small but powerful exhibits in the various rooms at the Museum is also an eye-opening experience for visitors that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who visits Siem Reap. On display is a large collection of weapons of war, including guns, rifles, rocket launchers, mortars, bombs and landmines.
The Museum is located in a purpose-built centre near Banteay Srei. It is located about 6 km south of Banteay Srei on the right-hand side of the road.
Admission is US$1 and it is open from 0700 to 1800 daily.
How does it help?
Aki Ra is the founder of the Cambodia Landmine Museum and National Project Manager for the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund (CLMMRF), the NGO behind the museum.
At ten, Aki Ra was given his first rifle and spent the next two decades involved in the civil war. After he returned to the villages where he had formerly planted thousand of mines and began removing them, by hand and defusing them with home made tools.
The CLMMRF facility is more than a museum. It is also a home that provides education and support for dozens of at-risk youth and landmine-affected children rescued by the CLMMRF Organisation. Many children who are part of this family have suffered overwhelming hardships. The CLMMRF was created so that it might serve as a place of healing for bodies, hearts and minds. They believe that love, support and education will help secure a better opportunity for the children that live at the Facility.
The goals of the CLMMRF are to maintain the Landmine Museum in Cambodia for the purpose of promoting landmine accident prevention awareness and public education, and to provide educational facilities, programming and rehabilitation facilities for survivors of landmine injuries.
The new Landmine Museum contains a school, an orphanage (visits are not allowed) for up to 30 at-risk children, a medical clinic that serves as a rehabilitation centre, and a training facility for landmine accident prevention and safety. It also provides employment opportunities for several teachers and local Khmers who play an important part in the Landmine Museum family. Moreover, it is a place for action, serving as a launch pad for humanitarian and landmine relief initiatives.