Mr Tom Heng
39 Years Old
Village: Prochea Torm
Province: Bantheay Meanchey
Training: Motorbike Repair
Injury: Landmine - 1997 when he was cutting bamboo along the Thailand border.
Having survived the treacherous conditions of the War in Cambodia as a soldier, Tom Heng was still struck down by the lethal products left behind from this conflict.
Prior to his training with Lom Orng, Heng was forced to travel great distances to get across to Thailand and find work as a labourer. With his extensive training and the equipment supplied by Lom Orng, he is now able to earn around 4,000 to 5,000 Riel per day without the long and difficult travelling. He fixes inner tubes from his shop, and travels into town on his bicycle if he needs to purchase larger parts.
His wife is also an amputee who has completed her sewing training at CWARS, and they have the children together. One son now enjoys being able to go to school, and the other two are still too young for school yet. He believes his life has dramatically improved since his training, he no longer travels great distances for very little pay, he is able to work in his village and support his young family.
At first glance Heng seemed quiet and apprehensive about our visit. His shop looked very basic, and there was no real way to tell it was in fact a motorbike repair shop. After talking for a short time, it became apparent why this was so. The skeleton of a shop was due to the fact that his original shop had been deliberately burnt down. He is unsure why this happened to him, but is now too afraid to rebuild a bigger shop in case it happens again. For this reason he is also to worried to buy many spare parts to keep at his shop, and reduce the amount of time spent travelling to the market in town, in case they are stolen, or damaged in another fire. Apparently there is very little that can be done to prevent another attack, as nobody knows why it happened or if it will happen again. This was a very sad way for me to finish my latest trip.