Posts tagged Victim Assistance
Posts tagged Victim Assistance
Harrisonburg, VA (10/10/2013) – The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University (JMU) will travel to Vietnam in 2014 to support its local partner, The Association for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities (AEPD), and launch a public-awareness campaign promoting the rights of people with disabilities (PWDs). The campaign looks to increase awareness among the general public and among government officials of the rights legally afforded to PWDs in Vietnam.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor awarded CISR a $247,500 grant to conduct and support a capacity-building project for AEPD, which is one of Vietnam’s leading organizations promoting economic and social empowerment for PWDs. A three-person CISR project team will travel to Vietnam to conduct the initial trainings in Quang Binh province and Hanoi, and oversee the project’s monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the overall campaign is carried out successfully
This project is a public-advocacy campaign striving toward an inclusive and barrier-free Vietnamese society where PWDs can fulfill their potential, enjoy equal opportunities and continue to productively contribute to their communities.
CISR previously worked on projects in Vietnam, including mine-risk education in Quang Tri province (1999–2000) and victim-assistance work by staff members during previous employment with Survivor Corps. In 2012, CISR conducted a peer-support training workshop in conjunction with AEPD in Vietnam for 41 PWDs, including landmine/unexploded-ordnance victims and people affected by Agent Orange.
In recent years the Vietnamese government passed a series of laws to protect PWD rights. The broadest and most recent is the National Disability Law, enacted in 2010.The CISR education and public-awareness campaign will help AEPD empower communities and local governments to observe the law.
AEPD was born out of the international humanitarian organization Survivor Corps/Landmine Survivors Network, which launched its Vietnam program in 2003 and was co-founded by CISR Director Ken Rutherford.
CISR helps communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative research, training, information exchange and direct services. CISR was founded at JMU in 1996 as the Mine Action Information Center, becoming CISR in 2008. Since its founding, CISR has worked worldwide to help communities build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of war and disaster.
Since independence in 1962, Burundi has been plagued by ethnic tensions between the dominant Tutsi minority and the Hutu majority.1 The most recent eruption of violence in 1993 led to the deaths of an estimated 300,000 people. A long and painful transition to peace thereafter culminated in the first democratic elections in 2005, and the election of Pierre Nkurunziza as President. At the end of 2006 he signed a ceasefire with the rebel FNL and, in 2009, civil war was officially declared to be ended. Nonetheless, especially since the 2010 elections, political tensions have remained high between the CNDD, which controls the government, and opposition parties.
Founded in 2005 in Bujumbura, CEDAC is a local and apolitical non-profit organisation.2 Its founding president, Eric Niragira, was 14 years old in 1993: he lived through the conflict, was forced to support the rebellion and participated in military and political activities. When he returned to school in 1996, he found it a painful experience:
‘On a daily basis, the army would gather fellow Tutsi students to participate in the killing of civilians who lived in the villages surrounding our lycee. When these students would return, the Hutu students were forced to wash their clothing and knives that were full of blood. We did this out of fear of being killed if we refused.’3
On April 25, James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., was one of those stops.
Actor Jonathan Goldsmith, best known for his portrayal of Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” has joined Clear Path International to raise awareness of their work with landmine and bomb accident survivors. PHOTO: Michael Helms.
Clear Path International (CPI), a U.S.-based non-profit organization that assists civilian landmine and bomb accident survivors in five countries, including every region of Vietnam and every province in Afghanistan, announced today that actor Jonathan Goldsmith has joined them in their efforts. Goldsmith, best known as the actor who portrays Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” in their award-winning advertising campaign, will help Clear Path raise awareness of the need and urgency of their mission.
“Jonathan’s work is known worldwide and his assistance to bring the plight of civilian victims of war into the national conversation is urgently needed,” said James Hathaway, Cofounder and Director of Communications for CPI. “Plus he’s a lot of fun to have around. Wherever you go, everyone loves Jonathan.”
More photos from CISR Director Ken Rutherford’s Vietnam trip as part of CISR’s conflict survivor survey mission to adapt information management system along the lines of the Convention on the Rights and Dignity of People with Disabilities.
Manassas, VA, April 15, 2013 – In the wake of the explosions at the Boston Marathon, the Amputee Coalition reached out to the leaders of the New England Amputee Association to help quickly get limb loss materials to the Boston hospitals that are treating the injured. The New England Amputee Association supports amputees in Boston and the surrounding region.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those killed or injured in the Boston Marathon explosions,” said Kendra Calhoun, president & CEO of the Amputee Coalition. “Peer support is critical to patients who undergo limb loss. It is also important that these individuals and their families have the resources needed to help them on their journey of recovery and readjustment.”
Manixia Thor (left) and a member of her all women’s bomb clearance team head into the field to clear unexploded ordnance in the Lao countryside. Manixia will be on a speakers tour for the month of April to raise awareness of the urgent need in Laos for funding of bomb clearance and survivor assistance efforts.
As a bomb clearance technician and the leader of an all-women’s bomb clearance team in Laos, Manixia Thor has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Unexploded ordnance removal is perilous and the days are long, but she knows that her work clearing bombs will make Laos safer for her two-year-old son and for future generations.
For nearly 10 years, millions of bombs rained down on the tiny country of Laos, making it the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings ended 40 years ago this year, but more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured by decades-old ordnance that litter the otherwise beautiful landscape.
With support from the U.S. Department of State, Manixia and Thoummy Silamphan, a Laotian bomb accident survivor and victim assistance advocate, will be touring the United States on a speakers tour with the U.S.-based group LEGACIES OF WAR to raise awareness about the unexploded ordnance issue in Laos and the urgent need for further funding of clearance and survivor assistance efforts.
Landmine victim and anti-mine campaigner Chen Chang Li-yu on Saturday shows photographs of herself as a teenager in Kinmen County. Photo: CNA
Every year, more than 26,000 people — mostly civilians — die or are injured by landmines buried around the world. Two Taiwanese victims of landmines — Lee Hsi-sheng (李錫勝) and Chen Chang Li-yu (陳張麗玉) — have spent the better part of their lives dedicated to the anti-landmine campaign.
Lee, 74, said he was 19 when he stepped on a mine and lost his left leg.
“I was in peak physical condition then and was a member of a water sports team,” Lee said, adding that he could swim 10km without any problem.
In the modern world of internet, telecommunications, mass media and whatnot, the ability for individuals to find platforms to express themselves is simply astonishing. However, one group I keep looking for and have some difficulty finding is landmine survivors. There are many, many landmine survivor stories available on line, but many of them are filtered through one of the many (worthy) organizations working in mine action. The survivors’ voices are selected for their ability to convey the message the mine action organization needs to communicate, often related to fund-raising. The opportunities to hear directly from survivors in an unfiltered manner are few, but notable. What follows is a non-exhaustive list of survivor voices which provides some sense of the breadth of landmine survivors who are telling their own stories, on behalf of themselves and their peers.