Landmines In Cambodia: A Family Born Again

The story of how one family from western Cambodia was able to escape from poverty after MAG cleared minefields in the area.

Thea Eng on land made safe of landmines by MAG

Thea Eng on land made safe from mines in Pailin province by MAG.

Photo: MAG Cambodia

Thea Eng lives with his wife and six children in Pailin province. He used to provide for the family by digging for gems, until one day the mining pit collapsed and his spine was damaged.

He spent the remainder of the family's savings on treatments, which proved to be unsuccessful. "Our life was getting darker and darker each day," his wife, Cheang Sim recalls.

We have a new life now, and can live and farm without fear

An escape from poverty presented itself when the family received a grant to purchase a plot of land so they could grow crops to sell. But the land turned out to be contaminated by landmines and couldn't be used.
"I was so frightened when I found the mines," says Thea Eng. "If I was killed, I thought, there'd be nobody to take care of my family."

"Thankfully in 2012 MAG came to clear the land in our village. I was so glad. After they finished, I felt born again."

MAG cleared six minefields in the area, finding and destroying 30 anti-personnel landmines and 32 other explosive weapons.

Thea Eng and his wife Cheang now use their plot of land to farm and sell cassava.

"It is like our family is just starting again," says Cheang. "We have a new life now, and can live and farm without fear."

Because of the generosity of our donors, every day MAG is able to help people like Thea Eng and his family in some of the world's poorest communities.

Please donate to help families like this: a regular donation of £8 a month could help communities escape from poverty by making land safe to farm.

Find out more

The problems in Cambodia

Success stories from Cambodia

MAG's work in Cambodia is carried out with the support of Altadis Foundation, Caerus Foundation, Fibertek, Find A Better Way and Finn Church Aid. 

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Page published: 3 December 2014