Monday, October 15, 2012

News from Project RENEW Vietnam:

We’re pleased to share with your our third quarterly newsletter with updates about the continuing successes of Project RENEW in helping to make Quang Tri Province safe from unexploded ordnance. 

Project RENEW
103 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street
Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province

Kids look at the history of the war and learn how to be safe from wartime ordnance

Finding a shady spot, Tran Thanh Son and his friend quickly set up an easel, paper, and colors to begin their drawing. Their eyes sparkled with eagerness and confidence as they discussed the topic and the colors to choose for their painting.  In another corner of the garden of the Mine Action Visitor Center (MAVC), other schoolmates were clustered in groups of five, starting their paintings as well. 



Silent sentries on constant alert protect their neighbors from wartime ordnance

On a rainy day in early September 2012, Nguyen Quoc Ve stopped RENEW's Community Support Team (CST) as they were moving through his neighborhood. The 15-year-old boy in Tan Quang Village, Cam Tuyen Commune, had noticed the team while he was tending his family's water buffalo, and he was anxious to report a wartime bomb he had seen the day before. Ve was particularly aware of the danger from this ordnance because his father had lost both hands and one eye in an accident years ago. Once Ve explained the situation to the team, they didn't hesitate, slogging through the rain to the exact location where Ve and his father pointed to the unexploded ordnance lying by the roadside. 


Strong-willed mother finds her way out of poverty with support from Mushrooms-with-a-Mission 

For years, Ms. Doan Thi Muon, a single parent of three children in Cam Lo District, has been collecting and trading junk to earn enough money to feed her family. The 50-year-old single mother lost her job as a kindergarten teacher after she gave birth to her third child in 2000. Having not enough land for farming, her only choice was to start trading all kinds of assorted junk for income – kitchen utensils, pieces of fabric, electrical wiring, aluminum cans. For twelve years she has had to bike ten kilometers a day, making the rounds house to house to collect scrap under scorching heat and biting cold. Her health has suffered. She has been diagnosed with spondylitis and hernias. She worries that someday she may be too sick to continue working as scrap collector.

Vietnamese farmer, cluster bomb survivor, returns to Oslo 

Pham Quy Thi, a Quang Tri farmer, proud father of three children, and an amputee who lost his arm in a cluster bomb accident, had a busy week in September when he traveled to Oslo, Norway to attend the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (3MSP) as a Ban Advocate.


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