Two international charities from the North West have combined forces to help save hundreds of civilians from landmine injuries in Cambodia.
At a special signing ceremony, MAG’s Chief Executive Jane Cocking and Find a Better Way’s (FABW) Lou McGrath put pen to paper on a 15-month project to remove landmines from some of the worst-affected land in western Cambodia.
“It was thanks to the Cambodian deminers at MAG that I was first exposed to the horrible problems landmines are causing in post-conflict societies all over the world,” says Sir Bobby Charlton, who founded FABW in 2011. “I’m delighted that Find A Better Way and MAG will now formally be partners, and helping the very people whose stories I was moved by a decade ago.”
FABW will now fund MAG to train, equip and deploy two mine action teams and one survey team in Cambodia’s Battambang and Pailin provinces. The project will transform the lives of an estimated 772 local residents, including 153 families.
“Cambodia is one of most heavily landmine-contaminated countries in the world and this new partnership will help us with our aim to rid the country of these indiscriminate killers, impacting the lives of hundreds of people,” says MAG’s Jane Cocking.
“As well as saving lives, it will ensure land can be returned to communities, improving lives and creating safe access to schools, hospitals and housing.”
The beneficiaries of this project will be vulnerable individuals living in rural communities, who are mainly dependent on subsistence farming. Communities predominantly live in remote areas with poor access to basic infrastructure, and have therefore very limited access to services and development interventions.
The continued presence of landmines and other unexploded bombs makes rebuilding this community particularly challenging. By removing the constant threat posed by landmines, MAG and FABW hope to provide the people of Battambang and Pailin the opportunity to fully recover from the fighting that ended over 20 years ago.
“MAG and FABW are both Manchester-area based charities working to help the same people around the world,” says Lou McGrath. “It is good to see charities working together in partnership and it will be good to see us begin the next stage in our partnership today”.