Cart 0
Human Trafficking prevention through safe education and employment for Cambodian women.

Meet the women of

Landmine Design

 

Landmine Design exists thanks to tireless hours of dedication to producing beautiful jewelry by 15 women in the Minefield Village. Coupled with an ambitious group of women in North America, we ensure ethical products, and stories of dignity are shared with you! 

 
 
Leakhena.jpeg

Leakhena

wife, mother, teacher, and program Manager

Leakhena is a young wife, mom, teacher and team member. She is one of our LandMine Design mangers and educators. Leakhena could be described as the glue that holds this program together in Cambodia. Each week, she spends time with the women teaching them, coaching them, listening to their heartache, and helping them improve their lives. She visits their homes, helps with jewelry assignments, translates and more. Leakhena is always looking for more women to hire into the program and assesses their needs and progress. She also handles all of the financial aspects of the program in Cambodia. Leakhena is married with two children. She and her husband pastor a church in Poi Pet, the border town near the MineField Village. She also started a pre-school and kindergarten which she operates from her church.  

Leakhena is an incredible leader, friend and mentor.

 
cambodian-artisan-te-2.jpeg

Te

Mother of Many

Te lives very close to our LightBridge School in the MineField Village. She began in the LandMine Design jewelry program as one of the very first creators, in 2012.  Her husband is the Principal for the LightBridge School. They both work very hard. A typical day for Te begins with waking early to wash dishes and clean their hut.  She feeds the chickens, and then makes jewelry for a few hours before she prepares food for the next meal. All Te’s children are grown and work in Thailand because they can earn more money there than in Cambodia. Te has a small library in herhome, which consists of a bookcase full of books that they allow villagers to check out. She has a covered garden where vegetables are planted. Te has adopted a baby boy. Te has a compassionate heart for those vulnerable and in need.

She is a fiery and spunky woman. She works hard and gets things done while being very warm and loving.

 
cambodian-artisan-chan-2.jpeg

Chan

wife and Mother of FIVE

Chan is most happy about being in the LandMIne Design program because now she can feed her five kids. She is grateful for LandMine Design because now she can stay at home with her children, rather than working in environments of abuse and leaving her small children at home alone. Chan's husband has a dangerous job in Thailand working on a fishing boat. Tragically, many of the people who work on these boats become addicted to drugs and are killed. Her biggest dream is that her children will grow up to be healthy. She is excited about the educational aspect of LandMine Design because she was forced to quit school as a child to work to provide for her family.

 
cambodian-artisan-Lee-2.jpg

Lee

wife, breadwinner and Mother of four

Lee is a beautiful 27 year old mother of four.  Lee noticed the change in the lives of the other women in the LandMine Design program and wanted that change for her family as well. She's only been educated up to second grade and today can barely read. She works hard to raise her children and grows mango, corn, and pumpkin at her house. Lee boils rain water for her family to drink. We are so thankful for the transformation that is ahead for Lee and her family as she earns an income from the safety of her home, and has an opportunity to be educated again. She has effortlessly become a part of the Landmine Design Family!

 
cambodian-artisan-pai-2.jpeg

Pai

Single mother of one

Pai is a skilled, witty, and vivacious single mother of a sweet girl named Gonya. While pregnant with her daughter, Pai was in a motorcycle accident, causing her child to be born with mental and physical disabilities. Upon discovering this, Pai’s husband abandoned his wife and newborn child, yet Pai continues to mother her baby and love her dearly. Though they live on her family’s property, Pai’s family keep a protective distance as it is culturally ‘un-lucky’ to associate with the disabled. Despite the lack of a family support system, Pai continues to carry her growing child along with her as she commutes to work and visits friends in the MInefield Village. In 2016 we were able to provide Pai and Gonya a new home! Now, Pai is able to work and care for Gonya in a strong shelter that protects them from the harsh elements, unlike the small dilapidated former kitchen shack that they once lived in. Pai is beyond loyal to her work, friendships and motherhood. She is an intentional, helpful and vibrant addition to the Landmine Design family.

 
cambodian-artisan-phun-2.jpeg

Phun

glowing student 

Just 18 years old, Phun is responsible to provide for herself and her family. Prior to her formal employment with Landmine Design, Phun would attend classes and help anywhere she could in the program. She became a part of the Landmine Design family seamlessly and is easy to adore; if it's not her glowing presence, it's her delicate and generous heart. She was hired in June of 2016 and we learned after hiring her that her family had plans to send her to Thailand if she did not find work before September. She has been working in a safe and dignified manner for months now and is able to support herself, her family, and attend school full-time. Through stories like Phun's, we're breaking the very cycles of poverty that have crippled a nation for many years. Through access to education and safe employment, Phun is visibly building her future and that of generations to come. 

 
cambodian-artisan-samphor-2.jpeg

Samphors

sweet student

Samphors has quite  possibly been the sweetest addition to the Landmine Design team. Samphors longed to be a part of the program since it began. She could often be found spending time with the ladies in the program, and learning all that she could from them. All of the women in the program vouched for her to be in the program. She is soft spoken, and there is a beautiful intelligence in her eyes. Samphors lives with her father, step mother, and their three children. She has one older biological brother who lives nearby. She has been part of the program since 2015 and speaks of her loneliness disappearing after starting employment and education through Landmine Design.

Samphors is now in her early 20's with a  grade six education. When she is not at school she reads her books from school or the Bible. Red is her favorite color. She helps around the house by cooking the rice and washing the dishes. 

 
cambodian-artisan-sonsey-2.jpeg

Son Sey

Mother and friend

Son Sey is 23 years old, and is mother to a three year old son. She is thankful for the money she earns through the program because it helps her to buy food and crops to plant. When she's not in class or making jewelry, she spends her time farming rented land with her husband. Since starting the program she has learned what to do about diabetes, how to perform CPR, and how to check herself for breast cancer. Her relationship is better with her husband now because they don't have the stress of not having enough money.

 
srey-mom-cambodian

Srey Mom

a new mother and wife

Srey Mom is one of the original women in LandMine Design. We fell in love with her right away for her kind and beautiful heart, and the deep dimples that appear whenever she smiles (which is often). She uses most of her income to help support her family's basic needs. Srey Mom recently made the decision to marry a young man from the village, and then go to Thailand with him against her parent's wishes. She and her husband worked together at a banana plantation in Thailand, which was a dangerous situation for them both. We hoped and prayed for many months that Srey Mom would come back safely to her family, and to the program. She has since returned and stepped back into a Jeweler role with Landmine Design again. Srey Mom just had her first child, a healthy baby girl! 

 
cambodian-artisan-sreyno-2.jpeg

Srey No

Mother and Wife

Srey No is a 24 year old married woman and mother of a sweet baby boy. She joined the Landmine Design program in 2016 and has been such a pleasant addition to our team in the Minefield Village, creating friendships with the other artisan women immediately upon arriving. She is joyful, helpful and thankful for how her work and education through Landmine Design has positively impacted her livelihood and relationship with her husband at home. Srey No walks with confidence and humility. She happily provides for her little family, and watches out for neighbors and friends with a careful and joyful attitude.

 

 

 
cambodian-artisan-sreyya-2.jpeg

Srey Ya

Witty wife, and Mother of five

Srey Ya is a beautiful 36 year old woman. She is reserved, yet poised, and her intelligence is evident in her eyes. She has five children and she is educated through grade three. She is excited to learn how to read and write in English and Khmer in the LandMine Design program. She learned some writing in school a long time ago, but has forgotten most of what she learned. So far she has used the money she has earned to buy food for her family, and to plant crops. Her dream is that her kids would grow up to be safe and educated - more so than she has been.

 
cambodian-artisan-Volek-2.jpeg

Volek

student, dreamer

Volek shares a small two-room hut in the MineField Village with nine of her family members, including her 72 & 73 year-old
grandparents. At 17 years of age, Volek works hard on many fronts. Her regular day begins early in the morning, washing dishes, cleaning the house and cooking lunch. After her chores are completed, she works on LandMine Design jewelry before she heads to school at 1pm each day. Currently, she is in 5th grade. With the money she earns making jewelry, Volek buys food for her
family to eat. When asked what her dreams are for her future, Volek used to not answer this question as it was very difficult for her to consider her future while living in poverty. But today, after two years in the program, she dreams of becoming a teacher and translator! Her countenance has changed from a pensive shy girl to a confident young woman with a radiant smile.

 
barang - jeweler

Barang

For years we watched sweet Barang play in the Minefield Village, then – she disappeared. For two years we didn’t see Barang, as her parents were desperate for money and pulled her from school to work laboriously in agricultural fields. In 2017 we arrived to visit our artisan women in the Minefield Village and found Barang observing the Landmine Design program. Barang, now 17, was of age to begin working with Landmine Design. We joyously offered Barang a full-time position as a Landmine Design artisan – an opportunity to contribute to her family’s financial needs and continue her education. Barang hides a fierce tenacity behind a quiet demeanor, she hopes to someday return to high-school classes and graduate.

 
vurn-jeweler

Vurn

wife, breadwinner, Mother

Vurn has been a gracious presence in Landmine Design since the program began. She is a wife, a mother of four, and the breadwinner for her family as her husband is unfortunately crippled. In the early days of Landmine Design we were only able to offer part-time work for Vurn and the other artisan women. Because part-time income simply wasn’t enough to provide for her family, Vurn made a painful choice to leave the program. With desperate hope to feed her family Vurn said goodbye to her little ones, her dear husband, and crossed the border into Thailand in search of work. Like many women in the Minefield Village, Vurn didn’t have other options– she simply did what it took to survive and faced physical and emotional challenges in order to feed her family.

Fortunately, as we have grown, full-time employment is now offered at Landmine Design, and Vurn was able to come home to her family and back to work with us. Every interaction with Vurn is endearing. Her heart is soft and strong. She moves with the grace and the strength of a thousand women. She is a true woman of courage, and we are so grateful to have her back.

 
chakrya-jeweler

Chakrya

wife, Mother of three


Get to know the place they call home.

WATCH STORIES OF IMPACT IN THE MINEFIELD VILLAGE


 

Karla Tillapaugh

Co-Founder + Director

Having lived in three different continents so far, Karla has grown to love cultures and people from across the globe. With a degree in Organizational Management from Colorado Christian University, Karla resides in Westminster, Colorado with her husband and three kids (two of whom are already grown up!).  As a family, they love traveling around the world, but especially to the MineField Village where they spend each summer loving on children, serving, and helping with the development of this precious place.

 

Amreitha Jeeva

Co-Founder + Program Developer

Adopted from India when she was three years old, Amreitha's life as an orphan changed forever when she moved to the loving adoptive home of her parents and became a farm girl from Kansas. Amreitha has a zest for life, a spunk, and a pursuing heart for people that others can't help but be drawn to. Amreitha has keen abilities as a visionary and helps give framework and function to LandMine Design serving as our Program Developer. She has a passionate heart for the desperate needs of others, especially in poverty stricken areas of the world. When not working, you can find Amreitha enjoying cultural events with her adventure-seeking husband; they both adore living life to the fullest.

 

Kaitlyn Rude

Creative Manager

Kaitlyn is our token Canadian, and a farm-girl at heart. She has a training background in Graphic Design and has spent her career thus far working in a variety of Marketing and Communication environments. Kaitlyn's relentless attention to harmony and design, paired with a deep concern for the intrinsic value of all people is what launched her adventure into working as Creative Director for Landmine Design. She delights in witnessing communities celebrate the strengths and skills of their members - especially in the MineField village. When not working with Landmine Design or her own business, the Pedestal, Kaitlyn is most likely to be found humming a song, and traveling across the city and/or the continent to spend time (hopefully outdoors) with her dear friends and family.

 

 
erin-marketing-manager

Erin McNeely

Marketing manager 

A California girl who traded the beach for the Rocky Mountains a few years back, Erin currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and her wild child toddler. She has an incurable case of wanderlust and spent a good portion of her 20s adventuring at every opportunity she could find. Those experiences living and working across the globe after college eventually led her back to school to obtain her MA in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has studied, researched and worked for years within the anti-trafficking and poverty alleviation realm, and brings that experience along with a passion and love for storytelling to Landmine Design as our Marketing Manager. She has committed her life to justice, development and collaboration with those living in poverty, and believes so deeply in their abilities, worth, innovation and ideas.

 
 

Judy Mahala

Bookkeeping