Thavory Huot of Cambodia
|"Peace Between Banyan and Kapok Trees"
By Peace Writer Ozlem Ezer
|"Reversing the Ripples of War"
Produced by Sun & Moon Vision Productions
A survivor of three decades of civil war, genocide and domestic violence, Thavory Huot, from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is currently affiliated with Brahmavihara, the Cambodia AIDS Project. Prior to this, she was the program manager of the Peace Education and Awareness Unit of the Working Group for Weapons Reduction. The group works to reduce weapons; promote peace and non-violent problem solving; and strengthen the capacity of high school teachers, pedagogical trainers, teachers-in-training and Cambodian civil society to build a peaceful and safe country.
In the 1970s, Huot witnessed the death of most of her family under the brutality of the Khmer Rouge. During those years, she was forced into manual labor, building dams and irrigation channels, and transplanting, plowing and harvesting rice. After the Vietnamese invasion in 1979, Huot survived by teaching in exchange for food for almost a decade. In the 1990s, she became the project coordinator of the Buddhist Association of Nuns and Lay Women, where she worked to empower women on national reconciliation and to heal the wounds of many years of war and genocide. Domestic violence, including assaults with a deadly weapon, is common following years of conflict, and Huot has worked in various projects against such violence since 1998. She is the mother of three adult children, two of her own and an adopted nephew, all of whom she says serve as inspiration for her tireless efforts to make peace in her scarred country. She states, "I would never want my children to suffer the way I did."
Huot was a Woman PeaceMaker in 2005.