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October 14th, 2010
03:46 PM ET

CNN Hero: 'I have never been chosen by anyone for anything.'

Aki Ra is helping to make his native Cambodia safer by clearing land mines -- many of which he planted years ago as a child soldier.

Aki Ra is helping to make his native Cambodia safer by clearing land mines - many of which he planted years ago as a child soldier.

Programming Note: CNN Heroes received more than ten thousand nominations from 100 countries. A Blue Ribbon Panel selected the Top 10 CNN Heroes for the year. Voting for the CNN Hero of the Year continues through November 18th (6am ET) at CNNHeroes.com

AKI RA
Editor's Note: Aki Ra is helping to make his native Cambodia safer by clearing land mines - many of which he planted years ago as a child soldier. Since 1993, he and his Cambodian Self Help Demining organization have cleared about 50,000 mines and unexploded weapons.

When I got the call, I had spent the day working in Siem Reap. I spend much of the week in the minefield with our team. I was very excited to be recognized for the work our NGO does. I have never been chosen by anyone for anything. I am very grateful to be recognized by CNN for the work we do.

I hope that it will bring more help to Cambodian Self Help Demining and Cambodia to clear the many landmines and unexploded ordinance that is left in our country.

Our organization is run by Khmer people, working for our country. We want people to know that the landmine problem in Cambodia has not gone away. People are being injured all the time and we are working to make Cambodia safe.

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Filed under: CNN Heroes
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Cheryl

    In 2000 my now husband and I spent 3 months travelling through Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. During our time in Cambodia we were lucky enough to meet Mr. Aki Ra at his land mine museum. At that time it was smaller than it is today.
    I am so happy to see that he has been named one of CNN's Top 10 Heroes of 2010.
    I still wear the t-shirt I bought at the museum to help support Mr. Aki Ra's work. I have been asked numerous times over the years about my t-shirt and I am always proud to share the story of the land mine museum and the work of Mr. Aki Ra that I witnessed.

    Congratulations!!

    October 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  2. met khmer

    Great thanks to those hero to support and help my country. You are a hero. however, I hope this sentence from the paragraph "We want people to know that the landmine problem in Cambodia has not gone away" is just a light of thought instead of tend to tell the world that we are still face much of landmines.

    October 15, 2010 at 8:46 am |

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