Everyone should be able to safely earn a living and build a secure future. Communities should be free to use their resources to provide for their families. But too often, people who have lived through conflict are deprived of safety and opportunity, even after the violence ends. Landmines and explosives remain a persistent threat to lives and livelihoods.
Located in the tranquil wilderness of the northeastern part of Luhansk region in Ukraine, Pervomaisk Summer Camp was once the site of happy memories. Petro Mykolayovych used to visit it frequently as a kid. Now abandoned, he remains the camp’s sole caretaker.
“I live in hope that one day this camp will be reopened. As you know, hope dies last.”
After being used as a military base during the 2014 conflict, it is now strewn with tripwire grenades and explosives. The presence of these dangerous items has made most of the camp unusable, depriving the region of much needed opportunities for employment and recreation.
Chim Sophy and her husband, Sok Rayut, from Cambodia moved to the small village of Sangkum Thmei in 2007. They needed land to farm and earn money so they could send Chuch, their 8-year-old daughter, to school. Little did they know that their new home was in the middle of a minefield.
“I am worried about my husband who often goes to the forest knowing that the area is full of landmines. He still goes there even now.”
The landmines have made life challenging. They have had to limit their farming to stay safe. But to make ends meet the family is forced to forage in the nearby forest, which carries its own risks. One day, Sophy was picking flowers to sell at the local market when she accidentally stepped on a landmine. Fortunately, it did not explode but now she is too scared to ever forage for flowers again.
Chim Sophy, farmer, Cambodia
No community should be cut off from vital resources or deprived of opportunities to build a secure future. No family should be forced to use dangerous land to make a living. With your help, they won’t have to.
Help us reach $50,000. Donations towards this goal will be matched. Together, we can make #LandmineFree a reality.