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May 24, 2011

Rodney Mearns, Landmine Disability Support, 24th May 2011

Rodney was one of the founders of Landmine Disability Support at the end of the 1990s to support those affected by landmines in Cambodia, one of the most affected countries in the world by landmines. There are over 30,000 people in Cambodia who have injuries from the war.

90% of disabled people in Cambodia live in the countryside and so are not seen by many visitors to Cambodia. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and many people are in subsistence farming. Therefore physical wellbeing is people’s “life capital”. Rodney told us that Buddhism places an emphasis on physical wellness and there is a society of discrimination against disability.
The LMDS targets one of 24 provinces in the country – Kampong Chhnang Province and since 2006 the management of its in-country staff was devolved exclusively to Cambodians.
The organisation does not lift landmines or fit prosthetic limbs – its local officials help the disabled to form self help groups, to set up new businesses with the help of micro-loans and to enable disabled people to develop a voice in the community.

Update
Spires gave a donation to LMDS when Rodney spoke to us and then a second donation in November 2011 (check).
LMDS was given an award in December 2012 (details to follow)
Read more about the work of LMDS on their new website http://lmdsupport.org.uk/