"As long as the school is open, our village survives."

Troitske inhabitant, (Louhansk Oblast)
Deminer in the field


In Ukraine, FSD conducts a number of mine action activities including capacity building of the mine action authority, mine and unexploded ordnance clearance, survey and explosive ordnance risk education activities. In addition to these actions, FSD also conducts a project in support of the education sector providing emergency humanitarian support to schools and children to help rehabilitate infrastructure and provide safe conditions for learning.

Risk education

FSD teams work in villages along the contact line in Eastern Ukraine to educate community members, especially the youngest and the elderly, of the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance. More than 160,000 children now know what to do if they are confronted with a grenade or an antipersonnel landmine.

Mine clearance

Since 2017, FSD deminers have been working to decontaminate areas where the fighting has stopped. Mines and unexploded ordnance are excavated and neutralised to allow residents to move around safely and farmers to plant their crops.

Support to education

Many schools and kindergartens along the front line in the east of the country have been heavily damaged by shelling during the ongoing conflict. FSD participates in their rehabilitation, so that all children can still have access to education and adequate school facilities despite the war.

Why Ukraine ?

In 2014, an armed conflict erupted in the east of the country. The Donbass region (the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces) is now defacto divided by a “contact line”, which separates the area under Ukrainian government control from that administered by separatists. While the fighting has subsided into a relatively static, low intensity conflict, the villages and fields along the front line remain littered with mines and unexploded ordnance. Residents, whose quality of life has reduced significantly with the conflict, live under the daily threat of an accidental explosion or from sporadic artillery or mortar fire. In 2019, more than 300 people were injured or killed in such accidents. The fighting also caused extensive destruction to the country's infrastructure, including many schools and kindergartens, reducing access to education for young Ukrainians living along the contact line.

Deminer in the field
young girl in a damaged building
Deminer working on a map with pins
Deminer working on a map with pins

FSD in Ukraine

FSD's involvement in Ukraine dates back to early 2015. The initial aim was to reduce the number of civilian casualties as much as possible by teaching residents how to behave safely in areas contaminated by mines and unexploded ordnance. Today, in order to bring risk awareness to even more people, FSD is also rolling out online campaigns through social media.

In 2017, FSD commenced a demining program to locate and destroy mines and unexploded ordnance. Almost 5 million square meters of land have been surveyed and cleared to date and can now be used safely by the population. This has enabled the resumption of agricultural activities and access to infrastructure in these areas.

At the end of 2019, a new project was launched, aimed at strengthening access to education in the conflict area. While visiting schools and kindergartens during mine risk awareness missions, FSD staff witnessed the extent of the destructionof schools' infrastructure and the devastating impact of the conflict on the daily lives of children. Following a special appeal for donations, FSD was able to conduct a needs assessment in schools along the contact line and is taking steps to rebuild and refurbish damaged schools.

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A little girl, wearing a hijab, standing

So that she doesn't risk her life with every step.

“I was playing outside with some friends when one of them picked up a piece of metal lying on the floor. Suddenly there was an explosion. We all fell to the ground. I felt like I had been hit in the back. ” Sanita, 11 years old. 

Like Sanita, many children walk in areas contaminated with landmines and unexploded ordnance on a daily basis. Since 1997, FSD has worked tirelessly to locate and eliminate these dangerous legacies of war around the world, and to prevent accidents through awareness campaigns. FSD also remediated sites polluted by toxic waste, and supports peace and development in conflict-affected countries.

Together, we can act. Every donation, no matter how small, helps shape a safer future for those who have already suffered so much.

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