Mine Victims in BIH Receive Support During COVID-19
ITF has made it its goal to support mine victims and people with disabilities, who face additional challenges because of COVID-19. It is imperative to provide them with services and assistance mechanisms that will reduce negative effects of the pandemic on those, who are particularly vulnerable. To do this, ITF has partnered with Organizacija UDAS, a non-profit from Banja Luka, to establish 20 peer support groups for mine victims in 20 different local communities where mine victims and people with disabilities live. These support groups facilitate access to much needed information as well as provide support and encouragement among people in the same or similar situation.
The project also focuses on finding other ways of supporting communities with mine victims and people with disabilities. This includes activities such as the provision of food, hygiene products and other necessary supplies as well as an upgrade of a web platform with educational materials.
ITF is aware that landmines and explosive remnants of war continue to pose a threat to civilians throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. In spite of their physical and real danger, signs warning about the presence of landmines are often collected as souvenirs, destroyed or decay over time. Unmarked contaminated areas pose a great hazard, especially nowadays when people are spending more time in nature due to the lockdown.
Therefore, ITF has partnered with Posavina bez mina, a local non-profit from Brčko, to contribute to the safety of the local population by raising awareness of the persistent mine danger. This was achieved by placing new marking signs in mine suspected areas, handing out leaflets with the latest information and updating existing billboard maps. Additionally, the aim of the project is to raise knowledge and awareness of the residual mine risk in Bosnia and Herzegovina more broadly among the population as well as the relevant authorities.
ITF is sincerely grateful to the Republic of Korea for making these projects possible with their generous donation.