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We simply save lives

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:   21

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, Israel.

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