Cambodia Visitor Center Opens
A ribbon cutting ceremony opens the center
APOPO held the official opening event for its new visitor center in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Friday January 26th.
The visitor center next to the APOPO office in Siem Reap, was designed to give our visitors a better understanding of mine action, the problem of landmines and other explosive remnants of war as well as demo the mine detection rats - the unique solution APOPO provides alongside partner CMAC to speed up demining efforts in the country. HeroRAT fans visiting Cambodia can now see demonstrations of HeroRATs at work without the dangers of a real minefield.
The event began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Cambodia Program Manager Paul McCarthy, APOPO Board Chair Dr Adee Schoon and Head of Mine Action Håvard Bach. The visitor center hosted a number of distinguished guests including His Excellency Heng Ratana, Director General of CMAC and Sister Denise Coghlan - Director of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Cambodia (and member of the Cambodian Campaign to Ban Landmines).
Since 2015 APOPO has been supporting our partner the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) to help clear landmines. In that time the landmine detection rats have hugely increased the speed of landmine detection, speeding up the daily square meter coverage and clearance, and allowing people to get back on their land as quickly as possible. So far, APOPO has cleared over 45,000 landmines and pieces of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Cambodia and returned over 15 million m2 of safe land - freeing communities from the terror and hardship they cause.
“It has been an intense 10 months getting the visitor center up and running. We hope this Center will raise public awareness about the global issue of landmines, show the world how the HeroRATs are helping to rid the world of landmines and allow the public to share and support our passion for a mine-free world.” says Benji Carrichon, the Visitor Center Manager.
“At the center visitors can see exhibitions, photography, films, maps, and landmine detection rat demonstrations. There is also a café and gift shop where visitors can support the life saving work of APOPO. Every week the center features a deminer who is happy to speak about their experiences and explain firsthand what it is like to help rid Cambodia of these dangerous weapons.”
APOPO welcomes all visitors to Siem Reap in Cambodia to swing by our Visitor Center from Monday to Saturday between 8.30am and 5.30pm.