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‘Killing fields’ survivors to relay stories

Genocide awareness week

September 12, 2012
The Advertiser-Tribune

Heidelberg University is to welcome back former staff members Sreng Kim Shhay and her mother, Hoeur Kim, for a series of special programs next week about the "killing fields" of Cambodia in the 1970s. The two women survived the genocide and escaped to a new life in the United States in 1979. Sreng was a member of the Division of Student Affairs at Heidelberg from 1999-2009.

Under the direction of Chris Tucci, Heidelberg students are to present a reader's theater at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Gundlach Theatre. "April 17: Stories from the Cambodian Genocide" is to focus on the history of the killing fields and international responses to the atrocities.

Next Wednesday, area school children have been invited to a presentation, "Escaping the Killing Fields: A Daughter and Mother Tell Their Stories." Another presentation and discussion are to be offered to Heidelberg students.

Students and guests will be able to give an "artistic response" to genocide through the Art Miles Project. They can paint a panel of a larger piece of fabric 12:30-6 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Aramark Room. This event is titled "The Killing Fields Remembered: A Quest for Healing."

The keynote presentation is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in Seiberling Gymnasium.

Kim and her mother are to share their traumatic story of loss, survival, new beginnings and triumph. When Kim was 5 years old, her family was forced out of their home and into the "killing fields," where Mr. Kim was executed and his children were driven out of camps and sent to their deaths.

The Khmer Rough regime was toppled in 1979. Kim was reunited with her mother and younger siblings, and they immigrated to the United States.

Kim received a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration and a master's

degree in higher education from the University of Wisconsin-La Cross.

Now, she is an adviser for multicultural diversity and student affairs at Stark State College in North Carolina.

 
 
 

 

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