Educating communities

Our community awareness teams work in over 700 villages each year. Last year they briefed over 170,000 people.

Community awareness is integrated with survey and clearance: CA teams gather important information about contamination levels and UXO locations.

The teams conduct many activities in each village: games & educational materials in school classrooms; small-group discussion sessions with adults, and evening performances of drama, song and puppetry. The awareness aims are:

  • To create a new awareness among rural communities of the continued dangers of UXOs
  • To educate villagers on ways to minimise the hazards caused by UXOs and reduce risks through behaviour change

  • Strategy

  • Expanded multi-media approach: will ensure wider coverage of target audiences including villagers living in remote and diffcult to access areas, children and ethnic minority groups.
  • Community participation through extensive discussion and field testing of all materials and activities.
  • Stregthened managament, coordination, and evaluation of the programme through capacity-building.
  • Strengthened partnerships: will provide wider coverage and ensure maximum use of all resources.
  • The Mass Media Research on UXO Awareness showed a clear preference for radio by both adults and children as the preferred medium. This research, conducted in 1999 by the Ministry of Information and Culture and UNICEF, has refined the UXO awareness strategy. A rewarding research was that UXO LAO activities have had a wide reach: most villages surveyed reported a team visit within the last 3 years.

    To gain wide coverage of UXO awareness, UXO LAO works with UNICEF, the NGO Consortium, the National Puppet Troupe, National and provincial radio and television. Other UXO awareness activities include an expansion of the formal education programme implemented by the Ministry of Education, assisted by the NGO Consortium and funded by UNICEF. The programme has been operating in 2 provinces for the past 5 years, and was expanded to another 2 during 1999. Targeting primary school teachers and students, the UXO curriculum is mainstreamed into standard teaching schedules, and involves creative arts workshops and puppetry training for students.

    Implementing Partner for Community Awareness
    UNICEF is the major donor to UXO awareness activities and assists UXO LAO with technical support, and funds the programme. UNICEF is the UN focal point for landmine and UXO education worldwide. Here, UNICEF works with national and provincial media, Ministry of Information and Culture, National Puppet Troupe and different NGO’s to facilitate many avenues of educating children and their communities about UXO.
    Link to UNICEF web-site

    Song taught to school children

    I really hate uxo
    because it causes
    Danger, Death and Damage
    … us!

    I am very afraid of uxo
    It is an evil thing
    If I see it, I run away
    And to be a good child
    I go and tell adults,

    I am a pupil in a new age
    So I pay attention to what
    adults and teachers tell me:
    Do not play with uxo
    and I will have
    …..a long life!

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