Mine Awareness Day
CHAMPS Bosnia celebrates Mine Awareness Day, marking the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s landmark campaign against landmines
April 4th is International Mine Awareness Day and this year – 2017 – marked the 20th anniversary of the Mine Ban Treaty as well as Princess Diana’s campaign against landmines. The humanitarian work of Princess Diana and mine action organizations in 1997 increased awareness of the global landmine epidemic and brought the issue to the forefront of international aid organizations.
Our CHAMPS students in Bosnia celebrated International Mine Awareness Day by visiting the renowned Bosnian sitting volleyball team, the Fantomi (named for the phantom limb sensation that many mine survivors and other amputees experience), and played games with the team members, who are landmine survivors. The Fantomi, who are international champions in their sport, are traveling throughout Bosnia with our CHAMPS students and leaders from the Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC) to put on exhibition games at schools and to share mine risk education and its importance to the young audiences. On April 4th, the students also participated in the #togetheragainstmines social media campaign, which was started by the Geneva International Center for Humanitarian Demining, to raise awareness of mine action (see photo below).
CHAMPS Bosnia was incredibly busy last year. With the addition of three new CHAMPS schools, nearly 4,000 students and community members received mine risk education. The CHAMPS students learned and taught others how to be safe and identify dangerous explosives. Mine risk education was delivered with the coordination and assistance of MLI’s longtime partner, the Mine Detection Dog Center in Bosnia.