Mission and History
The mission of the LMRF is to support the work of Cambodian Self Help Demining (CSHD) in removing landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) from Cambodia, and to help raise awareness of the persistent issues explosive weapons continue to cause the people of Cambodia through our support of the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center. Additionally, we also seek to help ensure Cambodia’s future by supporting the Rural School Village Program (RSVP) in its mission to build schools in small villages where Cambodian Self Help Demining has cleared landmines. We also fund other projects sponsored by Aki Ra, and other humanitarian work as approved by the board. The Fund has also collected dedicated funding for medical care for small villagers.
In 2003, Bill Morse heard a story about a young Cambodian man, an ex-child soldier named Aki Ra, who had started a small landmine museum in Cambodia, was searching for landmines by hand, and defusing them with a stick; all for free. Aki Ra had also established a Relief Center, a home for wounded and abandoned children. He and his wife Hourt were caring for over a dozen of these kids.
Bill and his wife Jill were so intrigued by the story that they travelled to Cambodia to find this man and meet him. 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 USA. 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, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement to help Aki Ra in his work. The LMRF is one of only two organizations in the world that support Aki Ra’s demining operations.
Today, Bill and Jill live in Siem Reap overseeing the work of the LMRF. Bill is also the International Project Manager for CSHD and the Project Manager for the Cambodia Landmine Museum. Jill runs the English language program at the Museum Relief Center and manages the volunteer program.