Our History

In 2003, Bill Morse heard about Aki Ra, a young Cambodian man and ex-child soldier, who started a small landmine museum and was searching for landmines by hand, and defusing them with a stick. Aki Ra had established a Relief Center and home for wounded and abandoned children. He and his wife Hourt were caring for over a dozen of kids.

Bill and his wife Jill were intrigued by Aki Ra and Hourt and traveled to Cambodia to meet them. After spending two days with Aki Ra and Hourt, they returned to the United States and established a charity to help Aki Ra clear landmines.

The Landmine Relief Fund is a recognized tax-exempt 501c3 charity in the United States. The money it raises comes from small donations across the US and around the world. In 2009, the fund secured a grant from the United States Department of State’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement to help Aki Ra in his work.

Today, Bill and Jill live in Siem Reap overseeing the work of the Landmine Relief Fund. Bill is also the International Project Manager for Cambodian Self-Help Demining and the Project Manager for the Cambodia Landmine Museum. Jill is the treasurer of Landmine Relief Fund and works closely with Rural School Support Organization.

The Team

Bill Morse - President

Bill Morse and his wife Jill lived in Palm Springs, California for over 20 years. Bill was a commissioned officer in the US Army, taught school, and ran his own business from 1980 to 2007. He left it all behind to concentrate on clearing mines in low priority villages in Cambodia.

In 2003 he heard of an ex-Khmer Rouge soldier, Aki Ra, whose quixotic mission was clearing landmines by hand. He and Jill traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to find Aki Ra and learn more about his work. After meeting him, he returned to the US and started the Landmine Relief Fund, a 501c3 charity, headquartered in Palm Springs, California to help support Aki Ra’s work.

He traveled to Cambodia regularly to work with Aki Ra who had also adopted over 2 dozen maimed and orphaned children, raising them alongside his own kids.

In 2006, Aki Ra was ordered to close his Museum and cease his unauthorized, guerilla demining. Aki Ra asked Bill to assist him in establishing a new, all-Cambodian NGO (non-governmental organization) to help clear some of the millions of landmines and unexploded bombs that still litter the country and have wounded 1 in every 250 citizens. They thought it would take 3 months- Bill stayed for nearly a year and a half. When CSHD received their license, Bill closed his business to work full time with Aki Ra.

Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) became certified in 2008. In 2009, Bill and Jill moved to Cambodia to continue the work they find so rewarding.

Bill is the International Chairman of the Board for CSHD and an advisor at Aki Ra’s Cambodia Landmine Museum.

Jill Morse - Treasurer

In 1951, Jill Morse was born in Odessa, Texas. Her father was a traveling salesman and her mother was a receptionist at an orphanage. She was the 3rd sister out of 4 in her family. She graduated from high school in 1969 and met her husband, Bill Morse, in 1967. Jill completed one semester at TCU before leaving to work. Jill and Bill moved to Georgia in 1971 for Bill’s work with the army. In Georgia, Jill worked for the Richmond County Board of Education as an aid in special education. 2 years later, they moved to California and Jill worked in banking

 for 20 years, working her way up to operations manager. In 1981, Jill went back to school and graduated from UCI with a degree in history and a teaching credential. Jill and Bill lived in Boston for 7 years from 1981-1988 before returning to California. In 1995, Jill started teaching again. She taught elementary school for 14 years in California. 

When Jill and Bill met Aki Ra in 2003, he was housing kids at the Landmine Museum. Aki Ra had volunteers come to the museum to teach the kids English. The volunteers rarely stayed longer than 3 days. Jill started sending lesson plans to the museum with Bill when he traveled back to Cambodia. She also set up a volunteer teaching program at the museum and ensured that all volunteers stayed for a minimum of 4 months. Jill and Bill moved to Cambodia permanently in 2009 and Jill continued teaching until 2018. In 2011, Aki Ra, Jill, and Bill started the Rural School Village Program (RSVP). Jill manages the buying and distribution of school supplies and ensures the RSVP schools have the correct supplies. Jill has dedicated the past 15 years to helping educate Cambodians. She is called “mama” by the Cambodians because of her caring and sometimes, when necessary, stern nature.