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SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS | Solomon, Eritrea

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Robiel and Solomon are two young boys who live with their grandfather near the border separating Eritrea from Ethiopia. Landmines were laid in the area during the most recent conflict and are what caused the death of both their parents. After their parents were killed the boys went to live with their grandfather. In due time he sent them to a nearby school. He was always reminding them never to play with metal objects found outside and was always telling them about the dangers of landmines.
One day Solomon went outside and started throwing rocks at a piece of metal, suddenly there was an explosion. He had been throwing rocks at a landmine. Solomon had disregarded his grandfather’s advice, which resulted in him loosing an arm.
When Solomon finally recovered and went back to school he decided to tell the other children to teach the other children about the dangers of landmines so they don’t face the same consequences.

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SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS | San Mao, Cambodia

San Mao is a 34 year-old landmine survivor from Pursat. When she was 16 years old, she cut trees in her area at the request of local authorities. While working, San Mao stepped on a landmine, resulting in the loss of her left leg. Unfortunately, she had no prior knowledge or awareness training on the impact or presence of landmines before this moment.

San Mao received medical treatment and rehabilitation services in Pursat. Following this initial treatment, she began raising pigs and chickens to support herself and her family.

San Mao participated in a sewing course in Pursat, conducted by Cambodian War Amputees Rehabilitation Society (CWARS). In January 2001, she was placed, with the assistance of the Business Advisory Council and NCDP, at a job in Wearwel Cambodia, one of Cambodia’s best garment factories, based in Phnom Penh. Although she misses her family in Pursat, San Mao reports that she is happy that she is employed and that she is able to demonstrate her capabilities. This job enables her to send money back to her family. She is grateful to the NCDP for assisting her in securing employment, which puts her in a position to provide support to her family.


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SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS | Haja Mariam Muthna, Yemen
On the second day of the 1994 war, I woke up as usual and prepared the breakfast. My husband then left to work on the farm. I took my 40 goats and two cows for grazing at the other side of the valley with my son, Mohammed, 11 years old. The goats grazed, while I was watching them from one side and my son from the other side. I saw a donkey tied to a tree. I felt sorry for him and decided to let him free. After a few steps, I heard an explosion, and I was up in the air. I did not lose consciousness. I knew it was a mine because I had seen several other mine incidents in the village. Later, I was taken to a hospital in Aden. One month after treatment, I returned without my left leg and half of my left arm. Landmines killed many of my goats and cows.


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