Anlong Veng Peace Center

January 10, 2017

"It's angering that not everybody has signed this treaty to ban landmines. It's disgusting, it really is, because it is fact that (mines) hurt a high percentage of civilians. They're not effective in any other real way. They've enough weapons for war." ANGELINA JOLIE, Director of First They Killed My Father which is a 2017 American biographical historical thriller film and written by herself and Loung Ung, based on Ung's memoir of same name.

 

CANADA PROVIDES SUPPORT TO ANLONG VENG PEACE & HUMAN RIGHTS STUDY TOUR (July, 2017). With generous support from The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), and in collaboration with the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, the Anlong Veng Peace Center, under the Documentation Center of Cambodia, with core support from the United States Agency for International Development, is pleased to announce the establishment of its Anlong Veng Peace & Human Rights Study Tour. The Anlong Veng Peace Tour program is a community reconciliation initiative aimed at bridging the divide and isolation between the former Khmer Rouge in their last stronghold of Anlong Veng and Cambodia’s younger generation. The intent of the program is to provide an educational platform for the study (and mitigation) of human conflict as well as to encourage greater civic engagement. The Anlong Veng Peace Center will host ten tour groups, comprised of 15 students each, for a total of 150 students. Tours will begin in October 2017. In addition to facilitating student tours, the project will collect over 240 stories from local survivors, many of whom are landmine victims, as well as facilitate the rehabilitation of deforested land by the re-planting of trees. Using Documentation Center of Cambodia’s previous work in genocide education as a model, the project will facilitate the historical tours of on a four-day visit to the last Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng for the purpose of participating in daily educational activities that require critical thinking, reflection, and debate, as well as the opportunity to interact, discuss, and ask questions from former Khmer Rouge and victims residing in the area.

 

The program not only offers a critical understanding of Cambodia’s violent history, but it also aims to convey a basic understanding of different theories on conflict resolution and transformation. The tour will meet its objectives through interactive discussions, guided tours of local historical sites, and a curriculum that uses individual stories to convey historical and moral lessons. The tour is rehabilitative to victims and former Khmer Rouge cadres, as well as victims of landmines. The tours provide victims and former cadres an opportunity to reflect on and impart their understanding of their experiences during the Khmer Rouge period and the civil war years (1979-1998) that followed. The tour is based on a curriculum that is thought provoking and personal. Through face-to-face discussions with victims and former Khmer Rouge cadres, the program will challenge participants to contemplate the diversity of human experience (both instances of humanity and inhumanity) during times of conflict and social upheaval. The stories validate the significance of individual human beings, and they help foster the most basic components of conflict transformation and civic skills. Concepts such as the ability to reflect, think objectively, and empathize with others are cornerstones to any peaceful, democratic society. The project will focus on historical empathy as its core objective, and the students who attend the program will be responsible for serving as representatives in their local schools, sharing their learning and insights. The Anlong Veng Peace & Human Rights Study Tour represents the start of the Peace Center’s work towards its mutually reinforcing aims of Peace, Education, and Social Enterprise. Through these core objectives, the Center aims to become a leading institution for the development of sustainable approaches to achieving reconciliation and peace in Cambodia and the region.

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(c) 2017 DCCam

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