Posts tagged survivors
Posts tagged survivors
In April, CISR Peer Support Specialist Cameron Macauley returned to Burundi to assist in the training of new peer support workers for a program expansion into Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital. CISR’s Burundian partner since 2010, CEDAC (Center for the Education and Development for Ex-Combatants) operates a highly successful program for survivors of war-related violence in Muramvya, a community about 20 miles east of the capital. CEDAC’s peer-support workers provide counseling and psychosocial support to survivors who are recovering from traumatic experiences suffered during Burundi’s civil conflict, which ended in 2006.
With support from CISR, CEDAC implemented a new monitoring and evaluation system last June to assess the results of its work with 363 survivors. Preliminary data suggests that CEDAC’s services are overwhelmingly successful, with 99 percent of survivors reporting positive changes in their lives as a direct result of peer support.
With generous assistance from Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), a London-based nongovernmental organization, CEDAC will begin providing services in Bujumbura, where thousands of war survivors still need assistance. This most recent training prepared 30 women with disabilities to offer peer support in the capital. CEDAC’s supervisors were also trained to respond to issues related to disability, such as discrimination, domestic violence, and lack of access to schools, clinics and government buildings. Participants also learned how to help survivors overcome low self-esteem and how to build self-confidence.
“With help from CISR and AOAV we hope to eventually become a national organization,” said Eric Niragira, CEDAC’s executive director. “We look forward to the day when all war survivors can participate fully in Burundian society.”
~ Cameron Macauley, CISR Peer Support and Trauma Rehabilitation Specialist
Three more days! Our program experts show their support for landmine and explosive-remnants-of-war survivors. #LendYourLeg
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.
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.
Santos stated that the government will continue to help people affected by armed conflict, promising that “the quality and quantity of psychosocial support to victims” will be improved in 2013.
The Colombian President also highlighted the achievements of 2012, wherein 157,013 victims of violence were compensated, allegedly exceeding the year’s target by 47%.
Monongalia Arts Center
107 High Street
Morgantown, WV 26507
Jan. 11-26, 2013
Opening Public Reception
Friday, Jan. 11, 6-8 p.m.
PSALM student guides available from 6-7 p.m.
The Monongalia Arts Center in Morgantown, W.Va. presents “A Nobel Cause: Portraits of Peace”. WVCBL/PSALM students (West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs/Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs) painted portraits of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) campaigners, including a painting of CISR Director Ken Rutherford.
Rutherford was a cofounder of Landmine Survivors Network, which was a leader in ICBL, and spoke as a survivor advocate in the 1990s. In October 2012, he gave a speech at West Virginia University on how medical students can alleviate the negative impact of landmines.
The exhibit also features photographs that depict a timeline celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning ICBL.
To learn more about the Campaigns to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munitions, please visit:
International Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.icbl.org
United States Campaign to Ban Landmines: www.uscbl.org
West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs: www.wvcbl.org
According to the United Nations, more than four million Afghans live in “mine-contaminated” areas. Antipersonnel explosives left over from the Soviet occupation have devastated the men, women and children of a war-torn nation.
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.