Mek Channeng is 21 years old and lives at the Arrupe Welcome Centre for Children with Disabilities.

At 8:00 a.m. on June 8th of 2005, Channeng stepped on a landmine while he and his brother were cutting down trees to support his disabled uncle. Ironically enough, his uncle had been a soldier in the Khmer Rouge Army.

Channeng told me that when he regained consciousness, his first question to his brother was "where did the bomb go off?" His brother responded with only tears and Channeng's question was answered when he looked down at the remains of his legs.

He was rushed to a hospital in Thailand where he stayed for 19 days.

When he returned home, he did so missing two legs and an arm. For many months, Channeng refused to leave his bed and lived a life of reclusiveness, sorrow and anger.

"I live but my heart not live. It go away. I live day by day and just stay in bed and eat."

It wasn't until he was approached by AWCCD that Channeng was able to cope with his anger and begin a new life. Through counseling with bishops and volunteers, Channeng has adapted an entirely new and optimistic view towards his own life. Since living with the church Channeng has began schooling again, which he had previously stopped at age 12 because he could not afford it. In December of 2008, he got prosthetic legs in Barcelona, Spain and has also traveled to Australia and Thailand to give talks about the issues regarding land mines and cluster bombs in Cambodia.

He is an avid fan of both Cambodian and American music. Will Smith and Michael Jackson are his American favorites while Preab Sovet and Khamorac Srey Moan are his favorite from Cambodia.

While Channeng has only studied English for four years, he is already fluent and excelling in his studies. He aspires to be an IT technician but would be happy working for the AWCCD full time as a spokesperson against landmines and cluster bombs.