Mine survivor learns to walk with a prosthetic leg
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. In Iraq, MLI recently launched a large scale program to assist the more than 50,000 mine survivors who are living in and around the Basra area.
Both young & adult landmine survivors in Basra face long-term medical and psychological challenges after their injuries have occurred. As young survivors grow, costly prostheses require replacement, repair and maintenance. Survivors often suffer psychological distress and require continued medical care & social integration. Unfortunately, these survivors and their families are usually unable to afford this care. Even if a prosthetic facility exists to provide the prostheses, survivors rarely have a mode of transportation to take them to the multiple appointments required for evaluations and fitting of prosthetic limbs. Additionally, because of their disabilities, landmine/war survivors suffer high unemployment rates and specialized vocational rehabilitation is virtually nonexistent for survivors, condemning both the survivors and their families to a lifetime of struggle and isolation.
Therefore, with support from private Americans like you, the U.S. State Department, the Iraqi and UXO Clearance Organization (IMCO), and the Polus Center, MLI launched the Partnership for Iraq program in 2012. This program is the first of its kind and is creating a unique and centralized system to: 1) provide vocational training and medical assistance for survivors, 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.
In the past two months, the first 90 landmine survivors began receiving vocational training classes. Thirty young women were identified and the first 10 have already begun sewing classes, while an additional 60 young men will soon be trained in office work, carpentry, etc. Upon completion of their training, the survivors will all be given certificates of completion and will receive assistance in finding sustainable employment. Additionally, 70 survivors in need of mobility assistance will soon be given prostheses and wheelchairs, including one electronic wheelchair for an individual who lost both of his legs and an arm in a landmine explosion.
Thank you for your continued support of the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) and for your efforts to help us make the world a better and safer place for all.
Young landmine survivors in Basra, Iraq