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PPCBank & APOPO Hold Second Land Handover After Landmine Clearance

Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, February 14, 2022 – For the second time, PPCBank has handed land back to its owners in Siem Reap Province after extensive landmine clearance work by the humanitarian NGO, APOPO and its award-winning ‘HeroRATs’. This second handover ceremony was even more special, with PPCBank’s 2021 fundraising drive involving members of the public. Together with generous contributions from PPCBank staff and clients, the total funds raised across 2021 increased to $10,000.

This meant that APOPO could clear a total land area of 290,385m², equivalent to over 40 soccer fields, of Khnar Ptoul, which is located in the Sre Nui Commune of Siem Reap’s Varin District. During the operation, no fewer than 40 anti-personnel mines and 31 other pieces of unexploded ordnance, UXOs, were detected, unearthed and safely destroyed. The operation has directly benefited 71 people from 16 families. It has also made the broader community, home to 350 families, a much safer place to be.

Uncle Setha, one of this year’s beneficiaries, expressed his relief that the demining work had been safely completed. He said, “My mind is at rest now. I know that my family and children will be safe and that we can now live a normal life, without having to worry about everyone, every minute of every day. I would like to thank PPCBank and APOPO for collaborating to make our lives safer and secure our future.”

Senior Vice President of PPCBank, Mr. Nhak Kimsroy, said the bank could not be happier. “Our humble donation is assisting an extremely transparent organization in saving the lives of Cambodians. Our donation may seem small, but as the first private company in the Kingdom to take initiative in supporting this mission, we are deeply humbled. We hope that our campaign will raise even more public awareness about the ongoing danger of landmines in the country and PPCBank would be extremely happy if more private institutions could join us in this endeavor.”

During the land handover, a tree-planting ceremony was led by monks and teachers from the local pagoda and schools, symbolically blessing the villagers with good luck and prosperity as they make a fresh start. To congratulate the families, PPCBank also prepared gifts, including stationery for all 100 of the village’s children, to encourage them to do their best at school. Donations of rice, canned fish, soy sauce and fish sauce were also handed to the village’s elderly.

PPCBank is looking forward to what we can do for APOPO in 2022. The year’s fundraising campaign will be launched shortly, with details posted on the bank’s social media channels and website. We are also encouraging people to visit the APOPO Center in Siem Reap Province to see the work of the group first-hand. Visitors can take a tour, which includes seeing how the ‘HeroRATs’ actually work in the field. Donations can also be made there to support the life-saving mission to make Cambodia landmine-free.

PPCBank remains committed to contributing to the future of Cambodia and asks its clients and members of the public to join hands to eradicate landmines from the Kingdom, while thanking all those who made a contribution to the 2021 APOPO Fundraising Campaign.