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What a year! A quick summary of 2014

Mine Risk Education

This past year, NCBL collaborated with UNICEF Nepal in supporting the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) in carrying out Mine Risk Education orientation sessions. The purpose of these sessions was to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to lead Mine Risk Education (MRE) programs at the grassroots level (communities and schools). The attendees included members from the Nepali Government, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, District Education Office, Local Peace Committee, Nepal Red Cross Society, Federation of Nepali Journalists, Informal Sector Service Centre, several political parties, conflict victims, and resource persons from the DEO.

Advanced training on MRE
Advanced training on MRE

A total of 340 participants took part in sessions in eight districts. Using the skills developed through these orientation sessions, the attendees led 210 MRE programs in schools.

NCBL organized a three-day advanced training on MRE in Nepal for officials of the MoPR, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, Nepal Army, Nepal Police, and the Armed Police Force, in addition to representatives from the International Red Cross Society, Nepal Red Cross Society, and Informal Sector Service Centre. The event took place from August 7th-9th 2014 in Daman, Makwanpur. The training program was facilitated by Purna Shova Chitrakar (NCBL), Kamala Shrestha (NCBL), and Madhav Prasad Sharma (section officer of the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction). The training was successful in engaging with high-level decision-makers across the governmental and non-profit sectors.

Advocacy    

On April 4th, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, NCBL organized a rally to raise awareness and support for mine issues and mine action. As a follow up to this, on April 28th, a delegation was sent to deliver memoranda to government ministries and the National Human Rights Commission.

International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action!
International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action!

The National Network of Mine Victims carried out a number of activities throughout the year. They met with a core group of survivors and set guidelines for survivor support. They also underwent field visits to survey survivors’ needs, their capacity for independence, and their access to services and a sustainable income. During these visits, survivors were also educated on the Mine Ban Treaty, specifically the responsibilities the Government of Nepal will have to survivors once it has acceded to the treaty. States party to the Mine Ban Treaty are required to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation and social and economic reintegration of mine victims.

Throughout the course of 2014, members of the Survivor Network were empowered through various trainings and programs. Trainings were given to strengthen survivors’ capacity to advocate for the accession of the Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions. These trainings were carried out in various districts across Nepal to ensure maximum impact.

NCBL representatives meet with community members
NCBL representatives meet with community members

Other Programs and Activities

As part of NCBL’s livelihood programs, goods from wholesale-goods dealers were transferred to survivors in Chitwan district and Kathmandu. The distribution of these materials also served as an advocacy opportunity for NCBL, whereas over 50 people participated in various capacities in the distribution. NCBL was able to engage with new civil society stakeholders through this charitable project.

NCBL’s livelihood programs were instrumental in helping 50 survivors to launch their own businesses. These businesses include a wide array of different entrepreneurial enterprises such as a tattoo business, a number of different shops, a vegetable farm, an artificial limb provider, livestock farms, a bicycle repair shop, a bee farm, a cooking-pot distributor, a soap making business, an internet business, an oil factory, a scooter business, a scholarship, factory, a scooter business, a scholarship fund, a refrigeration business, and many others.  

Livelihood project in action!
Livelihood project in action!

Survivors spearheaded the collection and distribution of various mobility aids and assistive technologies through local resources mobilization. Wheelchairs were distributed to twenty people, white sticks to thirteen people, crutches to eighteen people, and artificial limbs to four people. In Dolakha district, successful negotiations with local authorities led to the opening of a school for children with hearing impairments, which now has 32 students.

Recipient of assistive technology/mobility aid
Recipient of assistive technology/mobility aid

As a last activity for 2014, NCBL participated in the People’s Regional Convergence as a lead up to the 18th summit of the SAARC. NCBL participated in the People’s SAARC rally on November 22nd. Later the same day, NCBL organized a workshop entitled “Towards a Landmine and Cluster Munition Free South Asia.” For more information on NCBL’s participation in the People’s SAARC please see the previous post on “Latest News.”