News Archive
Sep 19, 2014 - Speaking Tour of Japan: Landmine survivor Sem Sovantha on landmines in Cambodia and the challenges faced by people with disabilities
In October, Peace Boat will invite Mr Sem Sovantha, a landmine survivor and founder of the Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD), to hold a speaking tour of Japan to raise awareness about the continuing issue of landmines and their impact on victims and communities in Cambodia.

Approximately 80 million landmines remain throughout the world even today. The majority of these were laid during wars in the last century and early in this century. However, the impact of those wars continues to this day, with 10 people every day falling victim to landmines.

Cambodia is one of the countries most affected by landmines. Since 1979, more than 60,000 people have been injured by landmines or unexploded ordnances. A landmine can have a devastating impact on the life of an individual and that individual's family, not only making it difficult for them to work but also having to live with the continuing discrimination against people with disabilities.

Mr Sovantha was injured by a landmine when fighting as a soldier in the Cambodian Civil War in 1990 and lost both his legs. Personally confronted with harsh living conditions after this, and seeing how other victims of landmines died from illness and hunger, he decided to work to help facilitate the rehabilitation of those affected. Having founded the Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD) in May 2003, he currently provides job training to people with disabilities, and works to promote sport activities for people with disabilities, as well as awareness about human rights.

During his time in Japan, Mr Sovantha will speak about his life, the current situation facing landmine survivors in Cambodia, and the kind of support that is needed. We believe this will be an opportunity to learn more about landmine issues still affecting many countries in the world, and what we can do to support those affected. This speaking tour is being organized as part of the Peace Boat Mine Abolition Campaign (P-MAC).

All events have a participation fee of 500 JPY. Mr Sovantha will speak in English with Japanese interpretation.
Previous registration is necessary - see below for information on how to register.

Schedule of Events

- Tokyo
Date & time: October 24 (Friday), 19:30-21:00 (Doors open 19:00)
Venue: Peace Boat Center Tokyo
B1, 3-13-1 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo

- Kyoto
Date & time: October 25 (Saturday), 19:00-20:30 (Doors open 18:30)
Venue: Kyoto Terrsa 2nd Floor, AV Study Room
70 banchi Shimotonoda-cho Higashikujo Minami-ku Kyoto City

- Osaka
Date & time: October 26 (Sunday), 19:00-20:30 (Doors open 18:30)
Venue: Creo Osaka West, 2nd Floor, Seminar Room
6-1-20 Nishikujyo, Konohana-ku, Osaka

- Nagoya
Date & time: October 27 (Monday), 19:00-20:30 (Doors open 18:30)
Venue: Nagoya International Center, 3rd Floor, Lecture Room 2
Nagono 1-47-1, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya

- Fukuoka
Date & time: October 28 (Tuesday), 19:00-20:30 (Doors open 18:30)
Venue: Fukuoka Citizen Welfare Plaza (Fukufuku Plaza), 2nd Floor, Conference Room 201
3-3-39, Arato, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
Speaker Profile
Sem Sovantha
Founder, Angkor Association for the Disabled


Mr Sem Sovantha was injured by a landmine when fighting as a soldier in the Cambodian Civil War in 1990, and lost both his legs despite one year of treatment at a hospital in Phnom Penh. Confronted with harsh living conditions after this, he was forced to beg in order to fend for his family. Surmounting this hardship, however, he improved his situation by selling books to tourists, and began supporting disabled individuals who were begging at temples and markets by offering them employment. He founded the Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD) in May 2003, and began to offer support not only to those injured by landmines, but to their family members as well. AAD was officially recognized by the Cambodian government as an NGO in 2004 and now works with over 700 landmine survivors in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

With the Cooperation of
- Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL)
- Angkor Association for the Disabled (AAD)

Registration
To register please e-mail the following information to participate(at)peaceboat.gr.jp:
* Full name
* Contact e-mail address
* Telephone number
The above information must be provided for each individual, even if registering as a group.

Mr. Sem Sovantha is also available to speak upon request at universities, schools, community centers and other venues according to the following schedule.
- Tokyo/Yokohama area between Oct 22-24
- Kyoto on Oct 25
- Osaka on Oct 27
- Fukuoka on Oct 29
If you would like to inquire about the possibility of inviting him for a talk at your organization/institution, please contact participate(at)peaceboat.gr.jp

Learn more about Peace Boat's Mine Abolition Campaign (P-MAC) here.
Documents for download