Anlong Veng Peace Tour
The Anlong Veng Peace Tour program is a community reconciliation initiative aimed at bridging the divide between former Khmer Rouge cadre(KR) in their last stronghold (Anlong Veng) and Cambodia’s younger generation. The intent of the program is to provide an educational platform for the study (and mitigation) of human conflict as well as to encourage greater civic engagement. Using Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam)’s previous work in genocide education as a model, the project will bring students on a four-day visit to the last KR stronghold of Anlong Veng for the purpose of participating in daily educational activities that require critical thinking, reflection, and debate, and that offer opportunities to interact with, converse with, and ask questions of former KR cadre and victims residing in the area.
The tour is based on a curriculum that is thought-provoking and deeply personal. Through face-to-face discussions with victims and former KR cadres, the program will challenge participants to contemplate the diversity of human experience (both instances of humanity and inhumanity) during times of conflict and social upheaval. The stories will validate the significance of the actions of individual human beings and help foster the most basic components of conflict transformation and civic skills. Concepts such as the ability to reflect, think objectively, and empathize with others are cornerstones to any peaceful, democratic society.
The project will focus on historical empathy as its core objective, and the students who attend the program will be responsible for serving as representatives in their local schools, sharing their learning and insights.
The program not only offers critical insights into Cambodia’s violent history, but it also aims to convey a basic understanding of different theories of conflict resolution and transformation. The tour will meet its objectives through interactive discussions, guided tours of local historical sites, and a curriculum that uses individual stories to convey historical and moral lessons. The tour is designed to be rehabilitative to victims and former KR cadres in that it provides both groups an opportunity to reflect on, and impart their understanding of, their experiences during the Democratic Kampuchea period and the civil war years (1979-1998) that followed.
The Anlong Veng Peace Tour program represents the start of the Peace Center’s work towards its mutually reinforcing objectives of promoting Peace, Education, and Social Enterprise. Through these core objectives, the Center aims to become a
leading institution for the development of sustainable approaches to achieving reconciliation and peace in Cambodia, the region, and beyond.