|FSD Proudly Celebrates its 10th Year Anniversary in Sri Lanka|
6 September 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of FSD demining programme in Sri Lanka. Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in Sri Lanka deploys committed, professional and high-performing humanitarian demining actor to support and strengthen the goal of creating a mine and explosive remnants of war free environment in support of the resettlement and development programmes of the Government of Sri Lanka. As at end of August FSD deploys more than 400 members, who are motivated and ready to save a life!!
“The aim hasn’t changed, but our role has broadened over the years, to support approximately 75,000 beneficiaries” says Hartmut Thoms, the Country Programme Manager in Sri Lanka. With continued generous support from the respected donors, FSD Sri Lanka has successfully destroyed over 97,000 antipersonnel mines, 18,300 items of unexploded ordnance, 48 Anti tank mines and 314,500 explosive remnants of war and have cleared approximately 35Km² of land for community development in the most landmine/ERW contaminated regions of Sri Lanka (Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Mannar, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Jaffna). Currently, FSD mine clearance activities focus on Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu Districts, on releasing land that is also contributing to poverty reduction, income generation and improved livelihood. Hence agricultural land, irrigation areas and land that could be used for off-farm activities will be given priority. FSD has made over 2,000 water wells mine threat free for the returnees over the past two years. The Community Liaison teams provided socio-economic support for vulnerable populations by reducing the risk of injury from mines and unexploded ordnance by raising awareness and promoting behavioural change through public-information campaigns, education and training, and liaison with communities in FSD areas of responsibility.
On 12 October 2012, FSD celebrates the anniversary of an exceptional performance by a team of 9 Community Liaison officers who have organized a Prize giving ceremony for inter-schools mine risk awareness competitions which will be held on Friday, 12 October 2012, in Vidyananda College in Mulliyawelei GN in Mullaitivu District commencing from 1.45 pm. The theme of the competition is “Stay Safe – Bright future” covering the entries of essay writing, songs, speech, short story writing, rearranging sentences and dramas within 12 schools in Puthukudiyerippu and Maritimepattu DS Divisions in Mullaitivu District. 303 students who have obtained 1st, 2nd and 3rd places will be honored by certificates, gold, silver and bronze medals and trophies. FSD anticipates, approximately 1,200 people and opens the invitation to all the partners and friends to join hands attending this major event.
FSD is proud to mark this day, and congratulates the amazing national team in Sri Lanka. FSD would like to thanks all its current and previous donors namely U.S Department of State, Government of Japan, AusAID, ECHO, Swiss Development Cooperation, Rotary Club, IOM, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Ministry Foreign Affairs, and UKAID. “The combination of operational support and active strategic partnerships forms the basis of our efforts to promote a well organized, accountable and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance” concludes Hartmut Thoms.