I'd love to share with you...
In our relatively safe, ‘first world’ lives, we have few real worries. Children walk to school without a care in the world, food and water are readily available and we are free to go pretty much wherever we want.
For families living in countries ravaged by war, life could not be more different. The conflict may be over (sometimes decades before) but it has left a seemingly indelible mark. The fields they ploughed for years and the roads or pathways they walked to reach water and other local amenities have become host to landmines, unsecured stockpiles of weapons and unexploded bombs.
This deadly debris of war claims thousands of lives and leaves many more with life-changing injuries. Tragically, nearly half the casualties are children, more often than not, the innocent victims of a conflict they never knew.
The stories I am sharing, of landmine victims and female deminers, speak of awe-inspiring resilience.
Saskikala lost her husband in Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war and her leg in a landmine explosion. Still she is brave, full of hope for her children and – most remarkable of all – still smiling.
At just 17 years old, Raimon lost his leg to a landmine in Zimbabwe so he could no longer farm the family’s land. The cost of treatment and his prosthetic, led them into a downward spiral and significant debt. So, Raimon’s father trained as a deminer.
In Colombia, all Sebastian wants is to play like any normal child. Instead he treads carefully to get to school every day and his football pitch is surrounded by warning signs, reminding him of the ever-present risk of landmines. Meanwhile Marta, a local farmer and now a trained deminer, strives to make the community safe again.
The legacy effect of war on these families is cruel and indiscriminate but, as my work with The HALO Trust has taught me, it can be stopped.
HALO has helped or is helping all these communities – and many more. In addition to reducing casualties, its vital work paves the way for families to return to their homes and cultivate their land. But crucially. HALO also creates jobs. Rather than paying expats, they train local people, many of them women, to be deminers. This community-focused approach to clearance is exemplary and it works. They really do enable whole communities to rebuild their lives and emerge from poverty.
Every day some 9 people around the world lose their life or a limb to a landmine or other explosive remnant of war. Nearly half of them children.
HALO clears approximately 1,000 minefields every year but there millions of people still affected by mines. Help us to help other vulnerable communities like Sasikala’s, Raimon’s and Sebastian’s thrive once more.
Be The change
There’s no doubt that the world has made a lot of progress in the last several years, but for girls and women, there’s still work to do. Check out our great partners below who are doing important work on this issue.
are injured or killed from landmines and explosive remnants of war every day
of all civilian casualties are children
enables refugees to return home, children to grow up in safety and farmers to feed their families once more
See who's making a difference
The HALO Trust is a pioneering humanitarian organization committed to freeing communities from the hazardous debris of war.
Rescue thousands. Protect millions. Prove that justice for the poor is possible.
Polaris, named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., disrupts the conditions that allow human...
#ONEderWoman of the Week: Shabana Basij-Rasikh
Growing up in Afghanistan, Shabana Basij-Rasikh had to fight for an education. Despite the Taliban-imposed ban on girls going to school, her parents were determined that Shabana and her sister would receive and education. Every day, Shabana would dress as a boy and walk with her sister to a secret school for girls. About 100 students and a few teachers squeezed into a classroom to learn and teach. Everyone in the room knew their life was in danger just for being there.
This experience motivated Shabana to seek easier ways for Afghani girls to receive an education. While a student at Middlebury College, Shabana co-founded the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). SOLA is dedicated to giving Afghan girls quality education. It serves as a boarding school for girls ages 11-19 of all ethnic backgrounds and religions. SOLA’s goal is to help graduates go on to study at universities worldwide and then return to Afghanistan to pursue meaningful careers. A recipient of the Davis Peace Prize as well as a global ambassador for Girl Rising, Shabana is truly a #ONEderWoman for the amazing strides she has taken in fighting for girls’ education.
Photo credit: TED
Help tell the stories of the girls and women all over the world doing amazing things. Be sure to include a link to their story in your nomination!
Nominate Your Own #ONEderWoman
Global progress on gender equality has been slow and insufficient. 20 years ago, The Beijing Platform for Action, a global framework for women’s rights, laid out 12 critical areas to address to bring about gender equality. While some progress has been made in education, political participation, and labor participation, in terms of economic progress (i.e…
Have you ever wondered how successful nonprofits are started? Curious about what it takes to be able to positively impact thousands of people around the world? Ever wanted to do that yourself? Well, Erin Zaikis, founder of the Sundara Fund, is here to give you a behind-the-scenes look at starting—and running—a successful global nonprofit. Before founding…
A new patch for women is helping supplement iodine-deficient diets in a fashionable, innovative way. Priti Salian is a Bangalore-based journalist. A version of this piece was originally published here by Take Part. Ashwini Raut, 25, leads a healthy, happy life right now in her hometown in rural Maharashtra, India, as she plans her upcoming wedding…
JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREME POVERTY
Sign up to receive alerts on ONE's Girls and Women
Disclaimer: Comments from guest writers, partners, and curators on this page are solely the opinion of these groups and individuals and do not necessarily represent the opinions of ONE or ONE employees. ONE is not responsible for content on external websites nor does such linking constitute an official endorsement or approval of linked external sites and their content and availability.