Indiscriminate weapons are weapons that don't understand the difference between a soldier and a civilian, a combatant and a child, or wartime and peacetime. Weapons such as landmines and cluster munitions contaminate land and stay for decades. This contamination creates lethal barriers to development, as it prevents community members from farming, getting an education, working, etc. When explosives are in the ground, affected communities are limited in their potential and risk being injured or killed every day.
The good news is this problem is completely solvable within our lifetime. Unexploded explosive ordnance can be cleared, and there are many projects across the world right now removing contamination and freeing land every day. Victim assistance and risk education ensure that survivors are taken care of, and new injuries and death are prevented while land is still contaminated. Taking diversity into account, risk education teaches communities how to safely avoid explosive ordnance. Victim assistance supports victims of these weapons to regain their livelihoods and participate in their communities. Advocacy ensures that nobody is forgotten and holds governments accountable towards mine action. Empowering communities to carry out these activities is important, and Mines Action Canada works with partners all over the world to ensure that the Ottawa Treaty is implemented and mine action activities are carried out.
With the current levels of funding, clearance takes decades. Communities can't wait that long, and survivors are always affected. An issue is that most of the already limited funding towards mine action is allocated towards clearance. While this is an extremely important aspect of mine action, it leaves other aspects forgotten only leading to more deaths, injuries, and suffering while communities wait for land to be cleared. There are many more steps that need to be taken apart from clearance to ensure the survival and prosperity of affected communities; notably risk education, victim assistance, and advocacy. These parts of mine action overlooked for funding.
By supporting Mines Action Canada's small grant program, we will be able to provide funding to a young person in a community who is a leader on in efforts to end the suffering caused by landmines and cluster munitions. This on-the-ground work not only has the potential to save and change lives, but also empowers young community leaders to use their skills and passion to help their community. By donating towards our small grant program, your money will have a direct impact towards a community affected by explosive ordnance.
You will also help Mines Action Canada continue to advocate for these communities. Mines Action Canada has spear-headed international campaigns against indiscriminate weapons such as landmines and killer robots. We also have a program that uplifts youth voices in mine action from around the world. By supporting us, you are supporting these campaigns and communities by helping us advocate for their importance and needs.
Once we have delivered our small grant to an individual from a community in need, we will keep you updated. You can learn about the individual, the community, the activities that were carried out, and the impact the grant had. We will also share with you any advocacy activities that we were able to carry out thanks to your donation.
Please donate what you can to Mines Action Canada today, and share this call with everyone you know. Together, we can make an extraordinary impact!