Friday, December 2, 2011

Interview with Dr. Kim Khauv


While I was reading the interview I wrote specifically for Dr. Khauv, I couldn't help feeling moved, and teary-eyed. I hear stories like these all the time, but never does it seem to get old... I am a nurse, and one of the reasons why I work with home health (one on one) instead of hospitals, is the loss of emotion one has for a patient. I noticed so many old nurses, treat each patient the same with or without the same diagnosis's. I said to myself, I would never get "used" to nursing. This is how I am, and this is how I feel about every individual experiences of others going through the Khmer rouge era. I'll never get used to it. My focus of the interviews are solely experiences of the impact of the Khmer Rouge's after math on first generation Cambodian Americans and Cambodians. Please read and enjoy, I hope you are enlightened by Dr. Khauv's story!

I always like to ask people to give a brief description of themselves, basic, like your age, location, family, career etc.

Thank you iKandy for the opportunity. I am 37 years old, married, trained in chiropractic and public health working as an assistant professor at Life Chiropractic College West, Hayward, California.

So you were born in Cambodia, what province? Do you remember what it was like living there before the genocide?

I was born in Phnom Penh, approximately 2 years before the Khmer Rouge came into power. I was too young to remember how it was before the genocide but have heard many stories from my parents and family. My grandfather and family ran a successful import/export business in Phnom Penh before it was destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Did you have a big family, siblings?

We had a pretty big family from both my parents' families but most of my father's family members perished during the genocide. My mother's side of the family (my younger brother, grandparents, parents, aunts and uncle totaling 10 of us) miraculously survived the genocide and made it to the Thailand refugee camps in 1980. Our family split up in the refugee camps, with my parents, brother and myself being sponsored to California while the rest of the family was sponsored to Paris, France three months later. After my younger sister was born in CA, we were only a 5 member family until my brother married a few years ago (now with a son) and I married in 2010.

Can you tell us your story of how you and your family escaped the Khmer Rouge. Start from the beginning if you can, what were your family doing etc.

Our family escaped the Khmer Rouge purely by luck. My parents, aunts and uncles were recruited to work in the labor camps and we were starved to near death during the Khmer Rouge regime. I understand my family had to act uneducated to survive as the KR would kill anyone with an education or thought of their own.

Did anyone survive that still lives in Cambodia today?

Yes, my father's last surviving siblings still live in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

When you arrived in America, do you remember what it was like or what your first thought was?

I remember being scared at school, not knowing a word of English starting in second grade. I had to take ESL until the 6th grade. My younger brother and I would find ourselves during recess and cried holding on to each other only to be pried apart by our teachers.

Growing up in America, what challenges did you face?

It was a hard time with my parents both working menial jobs to keep a roof over our heads. I remember jumping into dumpsters after school to recycle soda or beer cans while my classmates would play games. We were grateful for the food stamps and had medi-cal for health care.

Some families that were affected by the Khmer Rouge, have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Was your family affected in this way? If so, how did you and your family cope?

My parents may have been affected but they would never share it. They just worked hard and didn't complain about any health issues publicly.

Your first trip back to Cambodia, there must have been thousands of thoughts running through your mind, but what was the first thought you had, when you first stepped foot into our mother land?

My father and I went back to Cambodia for the first time in 2000 as a graduation present for me. The blatant poverty of people living in shanties was the most shocking to me. My father's family were living in a shanty and it made me realize how lucky we were in the US. This was a life changing experience that solidified my dreams of returning to Cambodia to help. That was the time I co-founded my non-profit, Well-Balanced World, with a fellow chiropractic classmate.

You are now a chiropractor, what made you choose this career?

Chiropractic care changed my life as it helped my sinusitis problem. It is a non-drug method of healthcare that allows the body to heal itself by normalizing our nervous system.

It is so wonderful to hear, that you give back to the Cambodian community now that you are an adult. Some people have not gone down that path, but what made you decide that you should create an NGO?

Growing in the US I always knew that I was very lucky to make it out of Cambodia and surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide. There was a calling to help the people of Cambodia that was left behind. I just didn't know how I could help until I discovered the gift of chiropractic care.

Can you explain more to us about your NGO and how one can go about helping/volunteering?

Our NGO, Well-Balanced World (WBW), aims to develop well-balanced individuals through healthcare, education and nutrition. Since there are many NGO's that already provide medical care in Cambodia, WBW aims to bring other healthcare providers such as Nurses, Dentists, Optometrists and Chiropractors to Cambodia. We are invited by an official from the Cambodian Parliament each year, he is from the Kampong Thom province and we have delivered charitable care to people in Kampong Thmor. We also help people in an orphanage outside of Siem Reap. We are always inviting other healthcare providers to join us in our annual mission trips. Others that want to help with English lessons are also welcome to join. If they can not come with us, others can simply donate to WBW to help with donations to orphanages and expenses.

What is a quote, that best describes your view on life?

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

I ask all my interviewees this question, the most important question:
How did the Khmer Rouge affect your upbringing and how it affected who you are today?

The Khmer Rouge experience during my early childhood has made me appreciate everything I have earned and to not take any opportunity for granted.

Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom to the first generation Cambodian Americans/Cambodians across the globe?

Cambodia Americans and Cambodians should be proud of our rich heritage and continue to propel our incredible culture into the future. Although we should not forget the Khmer Rouge in order to not repeat the ordeal, we should not allow our past to paralyze us from attaining our bright future.


Private Practice:


Sunday, November 20, 2011


For Booking - e-mail

Cambodian Rights Activist

bookings and inquiries including guest appearances, speaking engagements, photo shoots, music videos etc, please contact me at

No SPAM please.

Cambodian American model, nurse, and activist iKandy was born on March 28th 1982 near Washington DC to refugee parents. iKandy’s mother and father attempted to build a better life in the Washington DC area after fleeing Cambodia and barely escaping the genocide of the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime. The stress and unfamiliarity of American ways, customs, and their past took a toll on the migrant family, and throughout her childhood iKandy found herself bearing the brunt of her parents’ rage and suffering.

During adolescence iKandy struggled to find a cultural niche, until 2000 when she graduated high school and declared emancipation from her parents. She quickly learned the hard way that success would only come if she grabbed life by the horns and steered in the direction of her dreams.

After gaining understanding of her nurturing and compassionate side iKandy graduated college with a degree in nursing. In 2006, having a solid education under her belt, iKandy decided to dabble in her dreams and began participating in the modeling industry. By 2008 she had established a solid career, and she moved to New Orleans, after facing many hardships of raising a family on her own, she decided to search for a missing passion and deeper meaning to her life. She soon encountered photographer, C.E Wiley, who taught her how to immerse herself in the entertainment industry and to reach within herself to acknowledge what beauty means. This process of self-exploration and reflection led iKandy to long for an improvement in the lives of future generations of Cambodians and their families. She put her drive and compassion to good use and became a Cambodian Rights Activist.

iKandy strives to use modeling for a greater good, spreading awareness and fostering activism regarding the people and culture of Cambodia. She envisions an optimistic future for her parents’ country, a future where equality is protected, where cultural development is valued, and where freedom of expression is prized.

Within the past year iKandy’s good karma has finally caught up with her. She has been featured on over thirty plus websites, appeared in over seven magazines and Ne-Yo’s music video, and acted in various films alongside Hollywood A-listers Jason Statham, Ben Foster, and Brittany Murphy. Most recently iKandy was selected as a Seagram’s Model, and she is featured in their 2011 calendar. She is involved with her own project, The Strengthening Cambodian Communities Project (TSCCP) and recently directed and coordinated an events with another non-profit called Nomi Network, to help combat human trafficking on a global and local scale. With her incredible drive, overwhelming compassion, and astonishing beauty there is no doubt that the door to opportunity is only beginning to open. Still iKandy remains humbly excited about what lies to come.

Model, Nurse, Actress, Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Strengthening Cambodian Communities Project (TSCCP), Spokes model for Cambodia Baseball Federation
Dynasty Series - Pic of the Day - December 2009
Cred Online Magazine - January 2010 Issue
Amara Philly Online Magazine - January 2010 Issue
Cred Xclusive Magazine - February 2010 Issue
Titanium Girlz Xtra - February/March 2010 Issue.
Amara Magazine March 2010
Amara Magazine May 2010
504Source Magazine May/June 2010
Block Beauties Magazine Sept Issue 2010
VBlazin Magazine Oct Issue 2010
Mafia Magazine Nov 2010

*WEBSITES* (Beginning from March 2010)
Interview with Miss Vannette
Interview with Radio Host T Mill
Coast2Coast Mag Ad for CrazyNsane pg. 27 Issue #10
Interview with Cambodian Alliance of the Arts
VBlazin Magazine Oct 2010
Gambit CUE Mag July 2010

ALA Trade Show -2007
Who Do You Know Here? Productions - 2007
Lifetime Movie - Tribute - 2008
Axe Body Spray Promo - 2008
Krewe of Boo Parade - 2008
Rounders Magazine Promo 2008
Rounder Magazine January 2009 Issue
MMA Promotions 2009 2009 2009
Ne-Yo's Never Knew Music Video 2009
Merjah Amor Magazine 2009
Hip Hop & Fashion TV SHOW -NOATV - December 2009 - Live
Pictage Convention 2009
Feature Film - The Mechanic -2009
Follow Your Dreams Robert Mechum Foundation Event -December 2009
Miss MamboMundo January 2010 -
Cred Magazine January 2010 Issue
Hip Hop & Fashion TV Show - NOATV - January 2010 - Live
Seagrams 2011 Calendar
Louisiana Tourism Commercial 2010

Austin Scarlett Bridal Show - 2008
Jvon Face of Glamour - 2009
Vivacious Model Costume Fashion Show -2009
Merjah Amor - New Orleans Finest Magazine - 2009

The Mechanic