Posts tagged Victim Assistance
Posts tagged Victim Assistance
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.
When the conflict is over, the real work begins.
Find out how you can help and be the change: http://cisr.jmu.edu/give.html
Geneva – Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is donating €100,000 on behalf of Uefa to help rehabilitate Afghans who have lost limbs, mostly landmine victims, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.
It is the second time that the Real Madrid and Portugal forward – who has featured a record seven times in the uefa.com user’s poll for Team of the Year – has contributed to the ICRC’s network of seven orthopedic centers in Afghanistan, it said.
“For me it’s a great honour to be able to help others, and it makes me extremely happy to do so,” said Ronaldo, who is to present the cheque before kick-off in Madrid on Wednesday night ahead of the Champion’s League match against his former team Manchester United.
Afghanistan is one of the most mine contaminated countries in the world. It is believed that there are still about a million mines in the country, killing and maiming hundreds of people every year. According to media reports, five civilians, including four members of a family, were killed when a mine went off in Khaneshin District of Helmand province on 2 February 2013.
As a result of an unexploded ordinance explosion, 10 children were killed and two others were seriously wounded in the eastern Afghan province of Nangrahar in December 2012, according to media reports.
According to Landmine and Cluster Munition Report, at least 812 casualties, caused by mines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IED), and explosive remnants of war (ERW), were identified in 2011 in Afghanistan. The report says that mines of all types, including victim-activated IEDs, caused the most casualties, 436, and the vast majority of the victims, 716, about 88 percent of the total number of casualties in 2011, were civilian.
Colombia’s Victims’ Law, passed in June 2011, is an historic and ambitious piece of legislation that focuses on financial reparation and land restitution for victims of the ongoing internal conflicts in Colombia. With the creation of this law, mine clearance operations in Colombia have become more crucial than ever, allowing citizens to return to land that is free from the lingering threat of landmines. On a recent trip to Colombia, CISR Associate Director Suzanne Fiederlein traveled to San Carlos, Antioquia and witnessed firsthand the impact of mine clearance operations.
San Carlos is a quaint town in the mountains of Colombia’s northwestern municipality of Antioquia. In recent years, the ongoing internal conflict that has plagued Colombia for decades fell especially hard on San Carlos. As paramilitary groups moved into the area, many citizens were driven from their homes while others simply disappeared. Though the town was declared landmine-free in March of 2012, it has reported a total of 18 deaths and 154 injuries due to landmines since 1990.
Many stories have grown out of the conflict in San Carlos. One building Fiederlein visited was a hotel before paramilitary occupation. Today, that same building houses El Centro de Atención para la Reconciliación y Reinserción (The Centre for Reconciliation and Reintegration), an organization focused on healing the wounds of San Carlos through art and community.
Don Miguel Castaño, a displaced citizen of San Carlos who returned thanks to mine clearance operations, told Suzanne a hopeful story about the future of San Carlos. In the years of his displacement, Don Miguel traveled to Medellin where he began working with other displaced persons. Today, through a microcredit program, he’s purchased enough land in San Carlos to raise chickens and grow bananas, sugar cane and coffee beans.
San Carlos is also one of a number of conflict-affected towns in Antioquia that is moving toward reconciliation through remembrance. In the town’s main square stands El Jardin de la Memoria (The Memory Garden), a monument to those directly affected by the conflict in San Carlos, whether they were murdered, displaced or disappeared. Also demarcating the disappeared persons who were subsequently found and the displaced families that have returned, the garden is a colorful and creative reminder to the people of San Carlos of their loss and the hope for a more secure and prosperous future.