MLI believes in targeted, effective programs that remove landmines and restore hope, alleviate suffering, and nurture stability in war-torn countries. MLI programs are a collaborative effort between the people of the United States and the country involved – check out our Where We Work page to read more about country-specific programs.
Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP)
One of the most effective tools for finding landmines are highly trained Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) that are able to “sniff out” the landmines, which are often small, plastic, and buried in the ground. MLI emphasizes the importance of helping countries help themselves and is the only organization in the world that builds indigenous demining capacity by donating highly trained Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to mine contaminated countries, and then training local handlers to safely and effectively employ the MDDs in national landmine clearance programs. Learn more.
In addition to directly helping mine-affected countries, MLI also focuses on raising awareness within the United States about the devastating effects of landmines. MLI’s Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) was formed to raise awareness about landmines among youth in America, while also encouraging their leadership skills and the knowledge that they can make a real difference in the world and effect positive change. Learn more.
While continuing to work to diminish the number of landmines throughout the world, MLI recognizes that there are hundreds of thousands of people who have already been injured by landmines, and that approximately 5,000 additional men, women, and children are hurt each year by mines and explosives. Therefore, the Survivors’ Assistance program began as a way to implement a variety of programs that assist those who have been injured by landmines. Landmine survivors face seemingly insurmountable challenges in addition to the obvious physical disabilities, such as psychological stress and economic hardships. MLI’s Survivors’ Assistance program helps combat these challenges by providing prosthetic devices, rehabilitative treatments, and vocational training to landmine survivors.
The destruction caused by landmines doesn’t end when the bomb detonates and the debris settles. For children who are injured by landmines, their physical injuries are often more severe than adults, their emotional trauma greater, and their economic prospects significantly bleaker. The majority of child mine victims have little chance of going to school, receiving the prostheses or medical care they need, learning skills that could help them adapt to their new condition, or growing a family when they become adults.
For adult mine victims, the challenges can be overwhelming and they typically have great difficulty finding employment and are unable to support themselves or their family members. To alleviate the stress and debilitating effects caused by landmines to men, women, and children, MLI works to provide medical treatment, and vocational and computer education classes to help these survivors and their families recover and reintegrate into society. Learn more.
In many cases, the ethnic, religious, and cultural tensions between communities of different backgrounds in a war-torn country remain long after the peace accords have been signed. Even though fighting may have ceased, a lack of cooperation, understanding and reconciliation between affected groups could halt a country’s future development and the ability to build sustainable, long-lasting peace. Reconciliation between the various sides in a conflict is a critical part of achieving stability and an inclusive and peaceful future.
MLI launched its pilot interethnic reconciliation project in 2014 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of our CHAMPS program. The project was designed to promote interaction and friendship between youth in the three majority ethnic groups: Bosniak, Croat, and Serb. The project continues today to build on previous CHAMPS projects and to develop tolerance and reconciliation between the ethnically and geographically diverse communities of Bosnia. Through the program, not only are American students linked with Bosnian students, but children from different ethnic groups within Bosnia are connected and work together to help promote interethnic reconciliation. Children attending a school in an area that is majority Bosniak work with children living in other regions of the country that are majority Serb and Croat. The youth communicate on a regular basis via video messenger and work together on service projects to help mine survivors in their communities. Three schools in Bosnia and 6 American schools were linked through the project during the 2015/2016 school year and an additional three Bosnian schools were added in the fall of 2016 to expand the project.
MLI plans to expand this successful program to other post-conflict countries around the world in future years.