Stellar Cast Unites to Turn Killing Fields Into Kitchens; TheSoleofAfrica.org and The Mineseeker Foundation Work to Rid the Planet of Landmines in 10 Years (USA)


SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- There are over 100 million landmines buried beneath the surface of the earth rendering a quarter of a million square miles of land useless. Worse still, this invisible hazard kills or maims someone every 20 minutes.


(11.09.2006)

Now, breakthrough ground-penetrating radar technology and an unprecedented international coalition of business executives, political leaders, civil rights advocates and Hollywood elite are banding together with The Mineseeker Foundation to purge the planet of landmines and return the land to agricultural use in the next 10 to 15 years.
The initiative is called the Sole of Africa Campaign, and the alliance to turn the killing fields of Mozambique into a kitchen for Africans includes patrons for The Mineseeker Foundation: former South African President Nelson Mandela; Queen Noor of Jordan; children's advocate Graca Machel; businessmen Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic and John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell Systems; and Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.
The Sole of Africa's motto for making a difference in the world is, "It's time to put your foot down." The American public is being called upon to help rewrite history and get involved at www.thesoleofafrica.org .
The Mineseeker Foundation will use airships to deploy state of the art technology created by the British Ministry of Defense to locate landmines. As the mines are removed, the Sole of Africa Campaign will take the land and form farming cooperatives. Working in conjunction with humanitarian organizations such as Feed the Children, The Salvation Army; and educational organizations and leaders such as The Pacific Institute and Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul, the cooperatives will train local citizens to plant and harvest crops to sell -- providing food for millions and strengthening the economies of countries formerly unable to use their land.
"Before this new technology," says Mineseeker founder and Chairman Mike Kendrick, "Current machinery and strategy could only clear 40 square meters per day. Now, we have the ability to scan the ground at 100 meters per second. What would have taken 500 years to accomplish can be done in our lifetime. It's time to act, and we've selected Mozambique as the first country to send out our airships and then return its land to the people. Then our alliance will move country by country."
"Mozambique is like a Garden of Eden without food," relates Charlie Gay, USA executive director of Mineseeker and the Sole of Africa campaign. "The country was decimated by over 30 years of war. Here is this vast fertile lush land, but no one can farm it for fear of the mines in the soil. However, with 12 years of peaceful government, we now have a three-year road map in place which will result in agricultural sustainability."
The Mineseeker Foundation is a non-profit association organized by British research lab Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) and the airship manufacturer The Lightship Group. Based in the UK, its purpose is to de-mine former war zones by utilizing sensitive radar equipment to detect buried landmines from airships.

Von: 12.09.06, http://sev.prnewswire.com, by Giles Hudson

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