MLI’s lifesaving programs have played a vitally important role in the lives of countless individuals, such as Hasbullah, a young Afghan man whose hopes for the future were shattered when his leg was lost to a landmine explosion in 2007. At just twenty years old, his dreams of providing for his family were destroyed in a single instant. However, two years after his accident, Hasbullah met one of MLI’s managers in the Laghman Province, Afghanistan, and he was brought to a local Afghan school where he met with the students and, because of MLI’s CHAMPS program, was able to share his story via tele-conferencing with American schoolchildren. Over the course of the next few months, the CHAMPS youth raised money to provide him with a custom-fitted prosthetic leg and specialized computer training that allowed him to start his own business. Today, Hasbullah is supporting his family well and has a thriving business that sells computer accessories. “I’m so happy—my life is new again because of MLI.”
Through MLI's Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), youth in mine-affected countries gain a better understanding of the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordinances (UXO), learning what to look for and how to avoid triggering a mine. This is critically important, as adolescents in mine-affected countries are often more vulnerable to landmines than adults; their smaller stature can make it harder to see mines that may be visible to adults, and they are more likely to stray off safe routes and into minefields because they are either too young to read or are illiterate, so any signs that might be posted to warn them of the presence of mines are effectively useless. Children are also far more likely to die from their mine injuries than adults and, of those maimed children who do survive, virtually none receive prostheses that keep up with the continued growth of their stunted limbs. Therefore, CHAMPS strives to educate children about the risks of landmines and connect youth in mine-affected countries with children in America to promote a better understanding of the world in which we live.
CHAMPS is a unique program that provides a vehicle for children to directly impact the lives of tens of thousands of people. It promotes awareness of global development issues amongst youth, identifies solutions to overcome some of the devastating effects of landmines, such as the loss of productive agricultural land, and offers effective investments such as vocational training for landmine survivors. Over the past eight years, CHAMPS has gained great momentum and tens of thousands of school-children and their supporters have been exposed to the issue and have taken action to help others. Students and schools in AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, MA, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, TN, TX, VA, VT and WY have participated in CHAMPS Campaigns and have raised nearly $600,000 for landmine victims and MDDs. MLI intends to demonstrate its continued success in CHAMPS by engaging American youth with students in even more mine-affected countries to promote mine risk education and provide assistance to young landmine/ERW survivors.
To learn how you can get involved in CHAMPS or one of MLI's other life-saving programs, please contact Tycie Horsley at 703-243-9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.