Rithy on left! with student from Singapore.
Born in the time of the Khmer Rouge and later badly maimed when stepped on a landmine, Rithy Bou has come to symbolize the resilience of Cambodians who are moving forward and rebuilding the lives.
I have worked for several NGOs, including project manager for the Heritage Watch, is managing the impact of tourism on the local community for 2 years project in the year of 2008.
My father was in the Cambodia army, then one day when I was very young the Khmer Rouge came and took him away. He said he was only going to study, but he never returned. I only know that if he was alive he would have come back to us.
I remember a little of that time under the Khmer Rouge. As children had to bring water to the workers and at one point I was chosen to be a guard at the watermelon farm – but I just sat there. I do not remember the Khmer Rouge itself very clearly. My younger brother fell ill and died during that time and my mother was sent to a farm near the Thai border.
When I was eight I went to school in Phnom Penh. A few years later I enrolled in Police training programme. I was underage, but in Cambodia it’s easy to get around that. A year and a half later, as a police officer, I was moved to a patrol near Thai border. That’s where I stood on a landmine.
The mine took one of my leg off (below knee amputee) and destroyed my life. I had to start again from zero. It seemed that my family and friends didn’t want to communicate with me. In those days it was very hard for disabled people; charities and government have since done a lot to improve awareness. I moved back to Phnom Penh and received treatment in the Police Hospital. I was given a prosthetic limb and gradually I began to find a new life.
Before long I got a job as a security guard with a Catholic Organization called Maryknoll. I bought a bicycle and sent to English classes. That’s when my life started again. Now I can do as normal person, ride a motorbike, too, and even drive a car.
That was around 20 years ago. Now I work for my own business as private taxi driver and tours arrangement. I’m based in Siem Reap Angkor Cambodia.
I have full experience in providing the private driver tours throughout Cambodia and tours package service provision. Pickup available at Thailand, Laos and Vietnam borders and including from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh International Airports,
On the other hand, I also skillful in providing full tourist service: -
- Transport arrangement,
- Accommodation arrangement,
- Internship for students,
- Volunteer arrangement,
- Organize home-stay,
- Retire arrangement,
- Fixer/Journalist arrangement,
- Match Maker
- Visas arrangement,
- Translation English to Khmer and Khmer to English for any short course training,
- Other requirements
I got married about 14 years ago and have two children – one daughter, eleven, and one boy, nine. They have the same birthday. My wife is a business woman. She is selling groceries and christian louboutin shoes at home-store. We are renting home-store in Siem Reap, about 250 USD per month.
Anyhow, I would like to express from deep of my heart to appreciate to my relatives, friends and most of helpful NGOs such as Marryknoll, American Friend Service Committee, American Red Cross, JICA, Handicap International, Heritage Watch and Australian Red Cross.
Special Thanks to most of active friends such as Mr. Billy Barnard from Netherlands, Dr. Dougald O'Reily Director of Heritage Watch, Dr. Partrick Dalay from the National University of Singapore, Anthony Anderton Journalist-Australian, Rone Norway and other former clients...
Without them, my life surely would have been as a " Street Boy " could not have a good family and fully participate in society as today,
I am very flexible person, skillful in tour arrangement and best private driver. I look forward to welcome you to my beautiful country, my people, my culture....