22 August 2011

Risk Education

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.For many of the children who go to Bilal Fahes School in Nabatieh, in southern Lebanon, the daily threat from unexploded cluster bombs is very real. Around a third of cluster bomb victims worldwide are children as their natural curiosity means they are drawn to the interesting-looking but deadly weapons that litter their land. At least 12 of 2,500 students at Bilal Fahes have directly experienced the devastating impact of cluster bombs, with either themselves or a member of their family having been injured by one of the hundreds of thousands of submunitions that failed to explode on impact during the 2006 war.To try and reduce this threat, the students are given various photos of different mines and cluster bombs by 23-year-old Ahmad Wehbi, a senior member of the Islamic Risala Scout Association who is specially trained in Risk Education (RE). The children have to guess what the pictures are of – are they mines or cluster bombs? They then stick their answers on the blackboard under the correct title and Ahmad explains the dangers of each of item telling them not to approach them, not to touch them, and who to tell if they see one.There are at least 2,897 survivors of cluster bombs and other unexploded ordnance including landmines in Lebanon, and hundreds of thousands more throughout the world.Today marks three weeks until governments gather in Beirut, Lebanon for the Second Meeting of States Parties to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions (2MSP) from 12-16 September.The CMC is calling on all countries to come to the Beirut conference and show progress in clearing contaminated land, destroying cluster munition stockpiles, and ensuring affected communities receive much-needed assistance. Those who have not yet joined the convention are also invited to attend.