Great news from Kosovo: (Taken from Update September 2000)
As Kosovar refugees started returning to their shattered land in June 99',
there was a great fear that many returnees, especially children, would be hurt by
land-mines, booby-traps and unexploded ordinance (UXOs); cluster-bomblets, bombs and
shells. It was obvious that mine-clearing efforts will be painfully slow.
One of AWB's first actions was to send volunteers to participate in the Mine
Awareness Program, teaching children and the general public of the potential hazardous
nature of these silent killers.
While most of the suspected land-mines and UXOs sites are still not
cleared, the latest official figures -- published by the United Nations Interim
Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) -- show there was a dramatic decline in the
numbers of victims from land-mines and UXOs this summer, compared with last, based on data
from all around Kosovo province:
June 99' -
Injured Total: 102 June 99' - Killed Total: 39
July 99' - Injured Total: 88 July 99' - Killed Total:
June 00' - Injured Total:
8 June 00' - Killed Total: 2
July 00' - Injured Total: 5 July 00' - Killed Total: 0
(figures collected by ICRC and officially
published by UNMIK, August 8, 2000)
AWB volunteer youth instructors in Kosovo
participated (August - November 99') in the training of the first 25 local Mine
Awareness trainers from different local and international NGOs, in cooperation with MAG,
UNICEF and UNMACC.
AWB volunteers were supported by the Austrian government, through HOPE 87.
Radio communications equipment for the Mine Awareness volunteers was donated by Motorola,
In late 1999 and into 2000, three former AWB volunteers continued their work in western
Kosovo with the new British organization, Mines Awareness Trust (MAT). One of
them, is currently still involved in Mine Awareness activities in Kosovo.
Siyua Le'lo Gvulot, AID WITHOUT BORDERS (AWB), an Israeli voluntary
humanitarian organization, based in Jerusalem, wishes to warmly thank every one of the
persons involved in this great activity, which resulted in so amazing and dramatic figures
of saving lives.
Kosovo - one year on:
Just over a year since the last eruption in the Kosovo crisis, AWB is about to
close the Kosova Project, but leaves the door open, for possible sending of
volunteers and experts to join other organizations still working in Kosovo, and for
possible continuation of a vocational training for youth in Elbasn, Albania.
In early-July, an AWB volunteer psychologist, Dr. Moshe Landsman, was
sent for a 2 months volunteering in Kosovo, teaching and training fellow residents at the Pristina
Hospital psychiatric department. He is following, AWB volunteer psychologist,
Rakefet Sella, who spent a full month in Kosovo in May.
This mission, the first long-term project AWB was involved with, is being directed by
former AWB's psychosocial program advisor, Dr. Mindy Prager, an American
psychiatrist working in Kosovo since last summer.
AWB's Kosova Project was supported by TPO (Netherlands),
DFID (Britain) and The Rich Foundation (Switzerland).
Following a request by the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Landsman,
submitted, by early-September, a draft proposal, 'Building Child Mental Health in
Kosova': a basic program, featuring a detailed plan for the training of local
professional staff, for enabling them to eventually deliver child and adolescent mental
health services throughout the province.
AWB in the Balkans Report
Some Kosovo Crisis Photos