Training of Landmine Survivor
Project at a glance
Dates and Place04 - 13 February 2004, Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
Landmine Survivors Network (LSN)
For several years, the personal stories presented by landmine survivors have had a significant impact in reminding experts, diplomats and decision-makers of the human faces behind issues being discussed. However, after the successful realization of a convention banning anti-personnel mines and two years of work to implement it, there is a need to deepen the practice of inclusion to ensure that landmine survivors are effectively involved in the expression of their needs and means developed to meet these needs.
For the 5th time, ICVolunteers assisted representatives from the Landmine Survivors Network during their Raising the Voices training seminars for landmine survivors, which took place on a parallel with the standing committee meetings of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). Raising the Voices provides survivors with training in human rights and helps them to develop the necessary capacities to represent, organize and advocate on behalf of landmine survivors and other persons with disability in their home countries and within meetings and processes related to the Ottawa Convention.
Volunteering OpportunitiesIn February, 15 survivors from Russia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, the Ukraine, Georgia, Bosnia-Herzogovnia, Serbia, and Kosovo took part in the program. Recruiting volunteers with the necessary languages to enable both participants and trainers to communicate was a challenge, particularly for the two day Victim Assistance standing committee meeting when volunteers were asked to provide simultaneous interpretation. Some 16 volunteers contributed almost 500 hours to this project. For the most part they helped with non-professional, consecutive interpretation from and to English and the various languages of the participants. They also provided logistical help, transport for the survivors to and from the airport and their hotels as well as general support to the organizers from LSN.
This project brings volunteers into contact with people directly affected by landmines, which they all find is a rich and moving experience. Volunteers work closely with the landmine survivors and their motivation and involvement grow with each day spent on the program. Without exception they go home with the knowledge and satisfaction that what they have to offer is making a difference to the lives of each participant, and in turn, the lives of others living with disabilities.
Posted: 2006-2-08 Updated: 2006-8-19