Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Moving story wins help for forgotten soldiers

Moving story wins help for forgotten soldiers

Moving story wins help for forgotten soldiers

An impoverished village, home to dozens of former enemies from the country's long

civil war, received five cows from donors in the US on July 8. The animals were handed

over to the village's five poorest families.

Some 230 men, most of whom are disabled, live with their families in Veal Thom village,

Kampong Speu province. All are former Khmer Rouge, Funcinpec or State of Cambodia

soldiers who once fought each other, but now, having been ignored by the government

and mired in poverty, turn to each other for help.

The unusual tale, which ran in the New York Times following a story in the Phnom

Penh Post in March, moved several US citizens to donate money. Almost $1,000 was

raised and channeled through Veterans' International (VI)-a US-based NGO-whose staff

attended the ceremony.

The director of the village association, which decided how to spend the donated money,

explained that this was the latest in a line of gifts to the former fighters.

"There have been eight different grants to the villagers since 2000, such as

rice, noodles, kramas, mosquito nets, blankets and now cows," said Touch Seourly.

Sneung Channim, 45, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion, was one of the

beneficiaries.

"Even though we have had several people come to help us, we are still poor,"

he said. "But these days our lives are much better. This donation makes me very

happy because it will be extremely helpful in enabling us to make a living."

Nov San, 49, who lost both arms to a landmine, said this was his third grant. The

fact that so many people were helping the villagers made him optimistic: "Now

I have a lot of hope in my life. There are many people supporting me with grants,

and it makes my life better and better as each day goes by."

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four