Lak Senan and her husband Nub Sena live in small Phnum Rai village with their young son Seyla Sovann. Until The HALO Trust arrived in 2013, their home was surrounded by minefields. Unable to farm the land due to the mine problem, Nub Sena made a precarious living cutting down trees in the bordering forest. Day to day life was dangerous. As the community grew, more and more villagers were forced to encroach on mine-contaminated land.
Two years later and The HALO Trust has helped transform Phnum Rai and the lives of its inhabitants. Lak Senan became one of many villagers to join the HALO training programme and was employed as a deminer. She now earns a regular salary and is able to work around her son’s childcare.
Once their own home had been cleared of mines, husband 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 HALO salary to buy woodcraft tools. Nub Sena plans to set up his own business.
Beneficiaries in Phnum Rai
So far HALO 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. Lak Senan’s employment as a deminer has carved a path out of poverty for her family and many others in her community. Where there were once minefields, there is now sustainable and inclusive development.