Seng Oeun caring for a pregnant sow. December 2007
Seng Oeun is a 51 years old landmine survivor. He is married and has three sons and two daughters. He lives in Preah Sdach District, Prey Veng Province, Cambodia.
Oeun stepped on a landmine in April 3, 1991 while he was clearing trees in Barang Thleak, along the Cambodia and Thai border. After the explosion, his friends put him in a hammock and carried him to Kao I Dang Refugee Camp Hospital. His right leg had to be amputated just below his knee. After a 1-month stay in the hospital he was able to leave on crutches. Two months later, the hospital fitted him with his first prosthetic device made of leather. For over 15 years he had difficulty walking with this poorly fitted device. Many times he wanted to commit suicide because he was so helpless. He felt embarrassed to talk to other people.
Seng became very isolated and did not even hear about Veterans International until June 4, 2006 when a Community Chief informed him of our services. That very day he arrived by motor taxi. He was fitted with his first polypropylene prosthesis. Delighted, he said that it was the easiest and most comfortable device he had ever worn. At the center he met many other disabled people who were also accessing all kinds of rehabilitative services. He could not believe that he had lived so close to Prey Veng Center the whole time wished he could have come earlier.
Seng had worked as a farm laborer but his small amount of land was taken away from him when he could not pay his debts. After that he occasionally was able to find work breaking stones. From this he earned very little money and could hardly support his family.
In 2007, he applied for a small income generation grant at Prey Veng Center. In early 2008, the center provided him with a sow. His sow is now pregnant and will have piglets this September. His family will help raise the piglets and sell them when they have grown.
A well was also providing Seng to pump water for his sow and provide fresh water for his families use. He is now starting to save money so that he can pay off his debts and get his land back. His goal is to save up enough money so that all of his children can regularly attend school. Veterans International continues to monitor his progress and provide him with the support he needs to insure that he can sustain all of these positive changes in his life.