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Meet the women of

Landmine Design

 
 

Landmine Design products are the result of  tireless hours of dedication put in by artisan women across 3 different locations near Poipet, Cambodia. A fourth group of ambitious women in North America supplement their work, ensuring that their beautiful products are sold and their stories are shared all over the globe. 

 

Location 1:

Minefield Village, Cambodia

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Leakhena

Location 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.

 
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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.

 

 
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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!

 

 
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Srey Vong

Srey Vong joined her older sister, Srey Mom working for Landmine Design in 2018. She has watched her sister learn, grow and roll beads, and has helped from time to time. She is excited to stay at home in the Minefield Village and join with her sister in attending classes and work days each week. 

 

 
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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. 

 

 
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Son Sey

Mother and friend

Son Sey is in her mid 20's 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.

 

 
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Srey Mom

Young 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! 

 

 
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Srey No

Mother and Wife

Srey No is a married woman in her mid-twenties, 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.

 

 

 
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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.

 

 
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Chan Bo

Sister

Chan Bo joined the artisan team in the Minefield Village in 2018 after being invited and attending classes with her sister Pai. She is currently training and practicing her bead rolling and so that she will not have to leave her village for unsafe work. 

 

 
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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 graduate from high school.

 

 
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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.

 

 
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Chakrya

wife, Mother of three

 

 

 


Get to know the place they call home.

STORIES OF IMPACT IN THE MINEFIELD VILLAGE


Location 2:

Village near Ansalah, Cambodia


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Jen

Location Manager

Managing one of our newest Landmine Design programs, Jen brings a compassion and depth to her work.  She hales from the Philippines and felt deeply compelled to move to Cambodia two years ago to serve in countless ways.  She dreams up ideas to not only train and care about Landmine artisans; but also aspires to bring sustainable options for women in dire need.  In addition to managing for Landmine, her work also includes opening her home to at-risk teens.  She offers them the opportunity to continue in school, and equips them for futures of hope.  

 

 
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Srey Lek

23 year old wife and mother

 Having worked in Thailand harvesting rice and sugar cane for long hours each day, Srey Lek deeply hoped for the opportunity to stay home with her son.  In 2018, Landmine Design was delighted to open a new location in Srey Lek's village and offered her a job.  Srey Lek now earns an income that helps supplement the low wages her husband makes in a factory.  She has quickly become an expert at rolling beautiful beads.  

 
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Mouw

52 year old wife, mother and Grandmother

Mouw is a delightful part of our program.  She is married to a sweet husband who is blind.  Thanks to caring friends who help him, he travels every day to Thailand to harvest rice.  His income is meager.  Mouw's job helps to support the family and provide for much needed food.  Mouw was one of our first hires in a new Landmine Design location in 2018.  She offers sage wisdom and kind compassion to those she works alongside.  

 
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Toung

28 year old wife and mother of 3 children 

Toung has been married for 27 years and has three children.  She is 48 years old and has lived in her village for 12 years.  Her husband works in Thailand harvesting rice and makes very low pay.  Because Landmine Design opened in her village, Toung has been able to help support the family.  

 
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Chan Thaot

Wife and mother of 6 children

A mom to six children, Chan Thaot is a busy woman.  She's been married for 25 years to a faithful man who works in Thailand harvesting rice for low wages.  She was so excited to be offered a job so she could help provide for her family.  She loves all she is learning in crafting beautiful jewelry.  

 

Location 3: 

Poipet, Cambodia

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Kosal

Location Manager

Serving as a manager for one of our newest Landmine programs, Kosal also works as an assistant manager in our flagship Landmine program.  With a tender heart for others, Kosal can be found deeply engaged in conversations with artisans where she offers support, advice, Christian discipleship, and authentic care.  When not working for Landmine Design, you can find Kosal caring for her three children and husband, taking English classes daily, or offering her skills and heart in her local church.    

 

 
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So Thy

40 year old widow and mother of 3

So Thy is a 40 year old powerhouse!  Having lost her husband to a tragic drowning accident a few years ago, she handles life with a care and intensity that is remarkable!  She's a mother to three children and has been sewing for factories for many years.  So Thy was delighted to be offered a job with Landmine Design this year where she is able to earn a steady income to provide for her sweet family.  

 

 
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Chan Sooun

Wife and mother of 3

Chan Seur's  husband works hard as a motor bike taxi driver in the border town of Poipet, Cambodia. They have called this town home for ten years.  Chan Seur is excited to be part of our new Landmine Design Dae (Sewing) program and is so thankful for the income she earns which supports her family.  

 

 

 
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Chai Kea

single Mother of 1

As a single mom, Chai Kea has struggled to make ends meet.  Her husband left two years ago to work in Thailand and never returned.  She grows vegetables near her home in the slums and sells them at the market.  With her job at the new Landmine Design location, Chai Kea hopes to not only provide for her child, but also begin saving for a better life.  

 

 
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Sarath

Stay tuned to learn more about Sarath.

 

Karla Tillapaugh

Co-Founder + Director, production manager

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.

 
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Kirsten Snook

product design + Creative director

Kirsten, the newest and youngest member of our team grew up in small town Kalamazoo, MI, and just recently uprooted her life to plant it in Seattle, WA with her soon to be husband. She’s a city girl at heart and delights in spending her days exploring new places with a coffee in hand. Her background in visual arts started years ago when she began pursuing freelance photography and has evolved ever since. With a keen eye for design and fashion and an innate desire to showcase the beauty of every individual woman, she works as the Creative Director at Landmine Design.

 

 
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Erin McNeely

Marketing & COmmunications Director

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 two littles. 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

bookkeeper

 
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Zach Tillapaugh

Program + Production ManageR 

Having grown up as a missionary kid in Japan, Zach loves foreign cultures.  He has lived in Cambodia since 2017 overseeing programs and teams, as well as serving as the field leader for our parent non-profit, LightBridge International.  With a degree in Business management and Accounting from Colorado Mesa University, Zach utilizes his training in managing all Landmine programs, including two new expansion locations.  Working with women on both sides of the globe, we love the ways Zach jumps into the detailed world of managing jewelry and sewing programs with strength and determination, care and kindness.