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Eden Social Welfare Foundation

4/4/2020 International Mine Awareness Day

4/4/2020 International Mine Awareness Day


April 4th is known as the International Mine Awareness Day. Eden has been dedicating ourselves to improve the livelihood of the landmine survivors in South East Asia since 2015. Nowadays, there are many people and familes still affected by landmine so we would like to take this opportunity  to share an inspiring story of a landmine survivor in Vietnam, who is also one of our 2019 Landmine Ambassadors. 


A Crack in the Sky

A loud noise echoed in the valley. Among the coffee trees, a giant hole suddenly appeared in the ground. It was supposed to be a sunny day with a few clouds in the sky, however Pham Chi Minh begged to differ. It was certainly a darkish-grey sky. Lying on the ground, he looked at the sky and tried to make one last glimpse of it.


Chi Minh is a mine survivor


That was the day that had forever changed his life. Pham Chi Minh was a coffee farmer in Vietnam. In March 2015, he dug up a make-up box which turned out to be a leaf mine which was used in war before 1975. It exploded. Waking up in a hospital, Chi Minh found out that he had lost his left hand and left eye. Besides, the vision of his right eye was reduced to 70%. This news was devastating and hard to accept especially for a 22-year-old young adult. He then developed an inferiority complex syndrome due to the physical disabilities and regrets. 


In order to pay for the medical treatment, his parents had to sell two cows and borrow 50 million VND as both of them were too old to work again. He could no longer be the source of income for his family. Living with his parents, his wife took over the burden and become the main income source for the household. Seeing both parents and wife suffered from the accident that he encountered, Chi Minh felt more disappointed and upset about himself. Had he known any basic knowledge about mines, he would have been more cautious.


A New Path

Eden has been teaming up with Association for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (AEPD), the organization which is part of the Landmine Survivors Network, aiming to improve the living condition of the impoverished landmine survivors in Vietnam. The outreach workers contacted Chi Minh and encouraged him to overcome the difficulties with great support. Through the support provided, Chi Minh not only obtained the knowledge of mine risk but also equipped in mine education skills which allowed him to educate local people to prevent mine accidents. Apart from mine risk education, Chi Minh also wish to inspire other mine survivors with independent living skills. He is learning starting up a business and hopefully it will become a successful model to help others. Chi Minh soon regained his enthusiasm and resisted the darkness in his heart. He started a new chapter of his life.

Chi Minh helps local to recover from landmine injuries

In the classroom, a beam of sun light hit the wall. Sitting there were Chi Minh, other mine survivors, and social workers from Eden. Countless of stories and knowledge were exchanged in that afternoon. Chi Minh’s eyes sparkled and his spirit was high. Despite he is half blind, his vision on his future was crystal-clear. He desires to learn more about mobile communication technologies because he believes that using instant messages to inform and share landmine related information to the locals would be an efficient way.



Some Statistics about Landmines:

(Source: Landmine Monitor 2019, https://reliefweb.int/report/world/landmine-monitor-2019, Nov 2019)



Over 80% of the world's countries are States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, aka the Mine Ban Treaty. (164 countries to be exact)

(Source: ICBL Treaty Status, https://reliefweb.int/report/world/landmine-monitor-2019, Apr 2020) 



According to Landmine Monitor Report 2019, at least 800 km² of land were cleared of landmines. 



At least 600,000 landmines were destroyed over the past five years (2014-2018). 



1.4 million stockpiled antipersonnel mines were destroyed in 2018.



Donors and affected states contributed nearly US$700 million in combined international and national support for mine action in 2018.



4 Things You Can Do to Raise Awareness:

Whether you have 10 minutes, an hour, or plenty of time, you can help build a world free of landmines and promote the rights of landmine victims!


1. Learn About Landmines

Read articles about landmines from International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) or United Nation Mine Action (E-Mine). 


2. Get the Words Out

Post on social media. Share your posts on Twitter at @edenfortaiwan, @AEPD_Vietnam, @UNMAS, or @MineFreeWorld, and keep the conversation going!


3. Stay Informed and Join in the Conversation on Social Media

Subscribe to our newsletter, join us on Facebook and share our posts, and follow us on Twitter, and YouTube.

Social media is an excellent way to help you share your advocacy messages with as many people as possible, and to connect with campaigners around the world.


4. Make a Donation

Support us! Every bit counts!

Eden Social Welfare Foundation