IRAQ: Mine risk education saves children's lives
Mine Risk Education is very important, especially for those who do not know what landmines are or look like. They may play with them and get killed, as happened to four of my friends." Zaynab Yassen Dewali is an 11-year old pupil at Brayeti primary school in Domeeze, North Iraq. Since 2003, this small town has witnessed eleven casualties as the result of landmines or unexploded ordnance (UXO).
Mine Risk Education (MRE) provides appropriate knowledge for those at risk to live more safely in contaminated areas. It's now part of the curriculum at the school and a number of the teachers have been trained by MAG to educate the children about the dangers from the remnants of conflict, and what safe actions they should take if they discover such an item. Children are taught about the physical appearance of landmines and UXO and given basic safety guidelines and emergency measures, involving how to mark and report dangerous items.
Mahdi Khalil Mohammed teaches fourth grade. She explains the impact MRE has now it's been successfully integrated into her syllabus: "I am very happy and proud to deliver MRE messages. MAG initiated this programme to help our community. Children will now grow up safer thanks to this knowledge, and also share it with friends and family, further helping the community.
"MAG's support to the school has been very good. We need to continue with follow up and refresher training so we are kept up to date with new messages and teaching materials. We hope more teacher will receive training in the future."
MRE is now a crucial part of the children's education at Brayeti primary school. Zaynab expresses how important it is to her and her classmates: "We enjoy learning MRE because we learn how to protect ourselves. I tell my parents what MRE messages I learned at school. I also tell my cousins, who visit me from Baghdad. I keep away from dangerous areas."
MAG is working in partnership with MAG America and the US State Department Office of Weapons Removal & Abatement to create a safe and secure Iraq.
Von: By Emily Reilly, 03.04.2006, http://www.reliefweb.int