The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI)

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) was created in 1997 on the 50th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan by General (Ret.) Gordon R. Sullivan to extend the vision & legacy of Nobel Peace Laureate George C. Marshall by alleviating suffering and promoting hope, growth, and stability in war-torn countries. A major obstacle in many of these troubled countries is the lingering presence of landmines that remain buried in the ground long after wars have ended. Sadly, tens of millions of these hidden killers are in over 60 countries around the world. Thus, MLI's primary mission is to establish practical, affordable and sustainable indigenous programs to help severely mine-affected countries ri...
Oct 15, 2013

Survivors' Assistance Update in Iraq

Ms Hassan standing on her new leg for the 1st time
Ms Hassan standing on her new leg for the 1st time

      Thank you for your support of the Marshall Legacy Institute's (MLI) Survivors' Assistance programs around the world.  Our largest program assisting survivors is the Partnership for Iraq (PFI) program, which is a public-private partnership program that is helping the tens of thousands of landmine survivors who are living in and around Basra, Iraq.  With matching funds from the U.S. Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA), MLI has partnered with IMCO and the POLUS Center to create a unique and centralized system to: 1) provide vocational training and medical assistance for survivors in a new facility, 2) provide specialized training and equipment for Iraqi doctors so that they will be able to better assist mine survivors, and 3) create a national registration list for mine survivors, so that their needs can be better assessed and met.

     Last May, MLI's Vice President of Children's Programs and Survivors' Assistance, Kimberly McCasland, visited the PFI's headquarters in Basra, Iraq to monitor the program's progress. Though the region continues to be quite dangerous and there were several bombings in Basra during the visit that limited her mobility, she was able to visit the Basra Rehabilitation Center (BRC) and met with 20 male landmine survivors who were attending the Air Conditioning Vocational Rehabilitation Course, as well as a beautiful young woman named Iman Hassan. 

          While visiting, Kimberly learned of the terrible accident that occured when Ms. Hassan stepped on a landmine as a toddler.  The explosion caused her to lose one of her legs up to the hip, and though she received emergency treatment for her injuries, she had never received a prosthetic limb, and so had been forced to use crutches to move around since a very young age.  When Kimberly asked the doctors at the BRC if we could help get Ms. Hassan a prosthetic leg, they explained that it was impossible and that they were not capable of making a prosthetic limb for someone with such extreme limb loss. 

            As part of the PFI program, MLI has been partnering with doctors from the POLUS Center, who are training Iraqi doctors in new techniques to treat mine survivors.  One of the POLUS doctors, Dr. Dave Evans, was with Kimberly when she was speaking with the BRC doctors and he excitedly assured everyone that he could, in fact, find a way to provide a prosthetic limb for Ms. Hassan.  He examined Ms. Hassan and, despite doubts from the doctors and technicians at the BRC, he was positive that he could help.

            Over the course of the next month, Ms. Hassan was accompanied by Ms. Gaida, the PFI Manager and IMCO's CHAMPS manager, for each of her appointments with Dr. Evans and the BRC doctors. During that time, Dr. Evans not only built her a prosthetic device that enabled her to walk on her own for the first time since she was a toddler, but he was also able to teach the doctors and technicians at the BRC how they could incorporate this new hip and leg prosthesis technology so they could help additional survivors!

            Because of your support for MLI's Survivors' Assistance programs, this young woman is able to walk without crutches for the first time in her memory.  She has also enrolled in the PFI's Vocational Rehabilitation Center's programs and is taking a computer class.  Now that she has so much more mobility, she hopes to receive advanced computer training over the next year so that she can begin teaching computer courses to others!  Her new leg has given her a new sense of hope for the future and she is so grateful to everyone who has made this possible.

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Jun 17, 2013

Marshall Legacy Institute - Survivors' Assistance Update

Mohammad at 11 years old
Mohammad at 11 years old

Thanks to your support, the Marshall Legacy Institute's (MLI) Survivors' Assistance programs around the world continue to improve the lives of thousands of landmine survivors.  Last year, one of the children MLI helped was a young boy named Mohammad who lost both of his arms and his eye in a landmine explosion when he was just 10 years old. Mohammad had been playing near his home in Yemen when he found an unexploded mine on the ground.  Thinking it was a toy, he picked it up and ran back to share his exciting new find with his father.  Unfortunately, just before he arrived at his house, the landmine exploded, drastically changing this child's life forever.  

MLI's President, Perry Baltimore, met Mohammad when he was visiting Yemen on a program assessment visit and was struck by this young man's positive spirit, despite his lost limbs and eyesight.  Last October, MLI honored Mohammad at our annual Clearing the Path Gala with the Survivors' Assistance award.  With the assistance of generous donors, Mohammad was able to not only fly to the U.S. to receive the award, but remained in America so that he could be fitted with functional prosthetic limbs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  The bulky prosthetic arms/hands were very heavy for him at first, but he was determined to get stronger so that he would be able to use them effectively.  Over the past six months, Mohammad has been working diligently and is doing extremely well with his new arms/hands, which enable him to do many things that he could not do before.  He is now at the top of his 7th grade class and, just last week, sent the email below to MLI's President to share his great progress.

"Dear Mr. Perry,

I am writing this email to you by myself using my prosthetics hands and Mr. Alawi is helping me in translation.

I just finished my exam today after hard homework and I am sure that I will get succeed.

Regarding my prosthetics hands, I am using them every day and when I feel tiredness, I started to remember all your efforts for me to get the prosthetics then I wear them and day by day I started feeling comfortable.

Thank you very much and thanks for all people assisted  me to get prosthetics hands.

Please see the attached picture of me taking by Mr. Alawi during writing this letter.

My best regards to all MLI staff.

Mohammed"

MLI is so grateful to supporters like you who have enabled us to help the many men, women, and children, like Mohammad, who have been injured by landmines.  Thank you for your support!

Mohammad in the US, learning to use his new limbs
Mohammad in the US, learning to use his new limbs
June 2013 - Mohammad typing with prostheses
June 2013 - Mohammad typing with prostheses
June 2013 - Mohammad in Yemen
June 2013 - Mohammad in Yemen

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Jun 10, 2013

Mine Detection Dogs Saving Lives in Azerbaijan

MDD Danik "sniffing out" landmines in Azerbaijan
MDD Danik "sniffing out" landmines in Azerbaijan

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) has been assisting Azerbaijan in its mine clearance efforts since 2005, helping the country free its land of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), as a result of the armed conflict with Armenia between 1988-1994.  Despite much progress in removing the mines since the ceasefire in 1994, according to the Landmine Monitor and Cluster Munition Report, it is estimated that there are still tens of thousands of mines contaminating hundreds of square kilometers.

During the past eight years, MLI has donated twenty-four highly skilled Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA). Although some of the MDDs have retired from work or passed on from old age, the active MDDs Akela, Alma, Beti, Brownie, Canto, Danik, Dexter, Donohue, Duco, Fowler, Gaga, Gavran, Guru, Lipscomb, Marcos, Mojcaand Tessa were incredible assets during 2012, returning more than 1.8 million square meters - the equivalent of 460 acres - of land to the people of Azerbaijan. This is truly an incredible accomplishment for the MDD component and for demining operations.  Their work has allowed thousands of people to return to their homes, grow crops, herd animals, go to school, and live, work and play on the land without fear.

ANAMA has effectively and efficiently used the MDD component to survey suspected hazardous areas and provide quality assurance to areas checked by other demining tools. Most recently, the MDD teams worked in Agcabadi, Fizuli, Goranboy, and Terter districts, where hundreds of square kilometers are extensively contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).  In just the past two months, these life-saving dogs and their handlers have searched more than 400,000 square meters of mine-contaminated land.

Since 2005, MLI's MDDs have searched more than 17 million square meters, or 29,084 acres, of mine contaminated land in Azerbaijan!  In 2013, five of these life-saving MDDs will retire and, in partnership with the ITF: Enhancing Human Security and the Korean Government, MLI is pleased to honor ANAMA's request for five replacement MDDs.  These dogs recently arrived in Azerbaijan to be paired with their new handlers and complete their training.  Each of the retiring MDDs is being adopted by their long-time handlers and will live out the rest of their lives in the comfort that they deserve after such heroic work!
Searching for mines in Azerbaijan
Searching for mines in Azerbaijan

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