Diversifying Cambodian Memory Work

Minea Tim is the executive director of Kdei Karuna, a Cambodian NGO conducting community dialogues to transform historically rooted conflicts. Minea took part in the Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work 1.

After experiencing how the past is dealt with in South Africa and Germany, where the Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work took place, Minea Tim became aware of the importance to include the voices of minorities in the process of memory work in Cambodia. He set up a project with one floating village inhabited by Vietnamese migrants in Kampong Chnang. Kdei Karuna conducted research and collected local stories on the history of migrants, dating back several generations. The successful pilot was expanded to three other Vietnamese migrant communities in other provinces.  

Through engaging with the experiences of other countries in the Mandela Dialogues, Minea Tim concluded that nationwide advocacy would improve the prospects of change for Kdei Karuna. Therefore, the organisation started to cooperate with UN Women. They are now jointly conducting a series of dialogues, bringing together victims of gender based violence during the Khmer Rouge Regime, and high-ranking government officers.

"It takes time to change people. People are starting to talk about the issue. In memory work the breaking of silence is already a big step."

Minea Tim, Executive Director of Kdei Karuna