Spreading the Word of the Cambodian Genocide
The Project was founded in 1994 by Dith Pran, a Cambodian refugee whose war time story was portrayed in the movie, The Killing Fields. Dith Pran was born in Siem Reap Cambodia. When the Vietnam war spilled into his country, Pran began working with Western journalists. By the mid-1970's he worked exclusively with New York Times correspondent Sydney Schanberg. In April 1975, Pran's wife and children were airlifted from Phnom Penh into safety but Pran decided to stay behind with Sydney to cover the fall of the government to the Khmer Rouge.
Pran was then forced with others throughout Cambodia into labor camps. For nearly 4 years Pran and his countrymen endured extreme suffering and hardship. Yale University estimates 1.7 million Cambodians died under the Khmer Rouge reign from starvation, torture or execution. That figure represented 25% of the Khmer population.
It is Pran's goal, along with Kim DePaul as Executive Director of the Project to educate others about the Cambodian genocide which occurred from April 17th, 1975 to January 7th, 1979. It is Pran's belief that if we learn from the past, future genocides can be prevented.
Last Update 12/02/2008