The US has taken steps to make the Documentation Center of Cambodia a permanent fixture in providing information about the Khmer Rouge regime for generations to come, by providing it with a $2-million endowment, the US Embassy said Friday.
The documentation center will use the annual interest from the $2 million endowment to fund its operations, including special programs to research the regime that killed more than 1 million Cambodians.
“Of all the civil society organizations supported by USAID, DC-Cam is one that we envision will remain serving forthcoming generations,” Jonathan Addleton, US Agency for International Development mission director, said in a statement.
“The endowment will provide a foundation for the center,” Youk Chhang, the center’s executive director, said Sunday. “It provides a source of financial stability.”
He said that the center will receive an estimated $150,000 to $200,000 each year in interest from the endowment, which will cover about half of the center’s operational expenses and help pay for other projects.
The US has been the center’s main financial supporter, though funds are also contributed by Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden, Youk Chhang said.
The center plans to expand its magazine distribution and expand other services to raise more money in an effort to make the operation even more sustainable and promote its independence and neutrality, he added.
“This is about humanity, not about one country,” he said.
Youk Chhang said the center has always been envisioned as a place that will maintain the memories and stories of survivors of the regime.
“In order to move on, it’s important to have a path reconnecting the future generations to the past,” he said. “It had to be permanent.”
Several years ago, the government donated land located near Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to build a new documentation center that will house its expanding operations.
Squatters have since moved onto the land, Youk Chhang said, though there is no intention to move them. He appealed for more land from the government.
“It would be heartbreaking to evict the survivors” of the Khmer Rouge regime, he said. “We would like to see the government contribute more land for the benefit of the country.”