Mao Sopheap: What a Pity Life?
Mao Sopheap was born in 1979 in Soksan camp close to the border of Thailand. During her stay in the refugee camp, she got a general education background. She was then moved to live in Thvat village, Andeok Heb commune, Ratanak Mondul district of the Battambang province in 1992. Rattanak Mondul district of the Battambang province was former hot battlefield between Cambodian government forces and Khmer Rouge forces for long period during the armed conflict. As a result, many different types of landmines were used as a non-sleeping watchdog, and thus changed Rattanak Mondul district to be a most highly risk zone of landmine and ERW in Cambodia. Mrs. Mao Sopheap underwent mine accident in May 1995 during her work on clearance land for farming. She lost the right leg below her knee. This accident has added extra works and difficulties, and demands her family to pay for treatment and health care etc. Due to the internal conflict in 1997, she was moved to live in Treng commune, Ratanak Mondul district of Battambang province. She was married to Mr. Chorm Ya in 1999 at Treng commune and returned to live in Thvat village and now she has 6 children (4 sons and 2 daughters). Her elder daughter is 9 years old studying in primary school (grade 3), while the youngest son is 16 months old.
Mao Sopheap said I am living in a very pity life condition; with 6 young children under the small shelter across the bridge of Prey Ampor village, Andeok Heb commune. In the pass, I worked with Metakarona organization as a teacher at remote area in my village and got salary US$35 per month, while my husband does farming on the small plot of land. At present, my family depends only on farming (corn, bean, potato and sesame plantation) and off-farm activities collecting wood and produce charcoal to earn some more income to support the family. From these activities, I could earn approximately US$1 a day.
She added that when I go to the farm and forest, I keep my small son and other 5 with my elder daughter to take care them. I am worries about their safety because there are many poisonous snakes in my terraces. I have never got any support from other organizations, because I live in the remote village and inaccessible road during raining season.
Sopheap smiled and said I am now very happy after I was selected by OEC to be one of the project target group and through this project I expect that my children can go to school, I can do a small grocery at home and take care of my children, and my family life will be better.