Since August 2019, Asahi Shoko Co., Ltd has been collaborating with the certified non-profit organization, International Mine Clearance and Community Development Supporters (IMCCD), to support the locals in Cambodia to build a safe living and to develop the local community through the demining project.
We felt deeply inspired by the IMCCD’s vision, which is "Build an environment in the village that everyone can hold a hope of life in mine-free land", and we have started donating to IMCCD for the reconstruction of the entire region in Cambodia.
In collaboration with a Cambodian governmental organization, Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC), IMCCD's local staff are conducting mine clearance.
With the aid of IMCCD supporters' donations, IMCCD provides aid in order to improve the infrastructure such as drilling wells in Battambang province and maintaining the main roads in the province.
IMCCD attracts four Japanese paper processing companies in Ehime to Tasaen, Kamrieng province in order to teach the locals how to process paper producing such as stationery, calligraphy (i.e. "shodo") paper, wrapping paper for decorative Japanese cord and Kimono.
IMCCD provides technical support which enables the locals to produce high-quality potato-based vodka (Japanese "Potato Shochu") made of potato planted at fields where landmines were removed.
IMCCD runs "IMCCD Japanese Language School", which has been certified as an official Japanese language school by the Cambodian government.
IMCCD provides an opportunity to learn the preciousness of peace by physically observing the actual situation of demining after the war through the study tour and internship programs, etc.
Since August 2011, IMCCD has removed 653 anti-personnel landmines, 193 anti-tank landmines, and 1341 unexploded ordnances from 71 landmine contaminated areas; 229 hectares (equivalent to the size of 49 Tokyo Dome Stadiums) are secured.
IMCCD invites international students from Battambang Province in Cambodia to Ehime in Japan and supports their student life in Japan.
Mr. Takayama, the founder of IMCCD, is an appointed lecturer at Ehime Prefecture Lifelong Learning Center and Matsuyama-city's board of education.
IMCCD holds activity report meetings inside and outside Ehime prefecture and announces the activity report while relaying it to the Cambodian site.
We have known Mr. Takayama through Facebook and we were really impressed by the fact that he has spent the rest of his life after retirement on working on the front line for the reconstruction of Cambodia; and, we actually met him. During the meeting, Mr. Takayama told us that “it will not be a true reconstruction unless education, industry, infrastructure, etc. in Cambodia are developed as well as all landmines are completely removed". We were really attracted by Mr. Takayama's personality and ideas; therefore, we decided to become a regular member of IMCCD.
We visited the headquarters of IMCCD (Matsuyama City, Ehime, Japan) and asked about their activities in Cambodia in detail. IMCCD organizes study tours and accepts people who wish to visit the actual place in Cambodia. Among the participants, there are also people who have problems in Japan. We read the activity report of one of the participants saying that "even in a severe environment, children are willing to learn and their attitude inspired me". We could see the change in emotions of the participants before and after study tours and we realized that IMCCD provides a valuable experience that people cannot experience in Japan.
We really want to change the current situation in Cambodia where countless landmines are still buried and there are many children who cannot attend school. Therefore, in addition to donation support, we consider holding the lectures to introduce IMCCD’s activities and encouraging our employees to carry out local volunteer activities in Cambodia as part of our employee training. We strongly believe that small action will make a big difference and we will continue to support IMCCD’s activities.