Every child has the right to grow up safely, have enough to eat, attend school and realise their potential. But for children like Sark Arya and Chan Molika from Cambodia, landmines threaten not only their dreams but their lives. Every day. Their school is next to the notoriously dangerous K5 minefield—750km belt of landmines laid along the Thai border during the 80s and 90s.
"I want to be a nurse in the future. I want to be able to cure my parents and grandparents and everyone else in my village. And everyone in Cambodia if possible. When I knew that there were mines near my school, I felt scared. I don’t know if the area around my house has mines.
In order to be safe, I would not walk into a minefield. When I go to school, I only stay within the school perimeter. I would not enter a minefield because that could cause an accident.
If the mine clearance is completed, then I will not be scared to walk to school anymore. I want to study at the newly built school where they are removing the landmines because the roof of my old school is leaking, and the walls are falling apart."
"In the future, I want to be a farmer. I want to be able to support my parents and younger siblings, and potentially afford to get more education for myself. I want to study lots of subjects like English, Maths, and Science. When I finish school, I hope to expand my farming work. I want to plant durian, rambutan, longan and mangos.
With mines around my school, I feel scared. I think there are also mines in the forest. To be safe, I tell my younger siblings not to go to those places. I would not to go to those places because it would be dangerous for me."