Significant steps forward, thanks to your help
Last year saw the signing of a new, international political declaration restricting the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Over 6,500 of you added your voices to MAG’s open letter to world leaders and sent in your own messages of hope. So often we fear that our individual voices cannot be heard, but in November you showed that together our voices are louder, world leaders will listen, and we can make a difference. It was inspiring for MAG to take your names and messages to Dublin to show the world that you care.
For people in Ukraine, conflict has changed life beyond recognition. People have suffered terribly because of the use of explosive weapons in towns and cities. But thanks to your support we have been able to move fast and start work in Ukraine, partnering with the Ukrainian Deminers Association to teach lifesaving lessons and starting to clear unexploded bombs.
Thanks to your support, in 2022, MAG helped over 1 million people across the world stay safe. More than 75,000 landmines and unexploded bombs were destroyed, and more than 17,500 acres of safe land were returned to communities. MAG destroyed over 1.3 million items of surplus and obsolete ammunition, taking danger away from communities. MAG also provided more than 30,000 risk education sessions that were attended by over 400,000 people.
Remember, this good news is only possible because of your support.
Thank you so much.
MAG America Executive Director
Your support enabled us to move fast in Ukraine
Raisa’s home was destroyed by war in Ukraine. Raisa and her husband, Sergiy, her young son, and their pet dog fled the fighting in February, a quick decision that probably saved their lives. “It was very frightening, there was fighting and bombing everywhere.”
As the fighting moves on in some parts of Ukraine, people like Raisa are beginning to return to their homes. But to do so, they have to consider the threat of landmines and unexploded bombs every minute of every day – when their children play outside, when they take their dog for a walk – simple daily activities.
In partnership with the Ukrainian Deminers Association, we were able to begin delivering lifesaving messages and lessons to help keep people safe in Ukraine.
Vital political declaration signed by 83 states in Dublin
In November, 83 states signed a political declaration limiting the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. More than 6,500 supporters joined MAG’s call for action and added their names to an open letter to world leaders and sent their personal messages of hope.
When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 9 out of 10 people who are killed or injured are civilians. The declaration, if implemented effectively, has the potential to save thousands of lives.
The letter was presented by MAG to Irish Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy.
Good news from across the pond
Between April 25 and July 24, MAG supporters in the United Kingdom raised £449,309 (approx. $548,397), including £211,336 of match funding from the UK government, to support the clearance of unexploded bombs in Vangkhom Village, Laos.
Vangkhom was hit by almost 6,000 bombing missions – an average of 213 bombing missions for every square kilometer. The bombs lay hidden, waiting to kill or maim when disturbed by a curious child or a farmer at work.
MAG’s hope was to raise enough funds to support a team of 13 experts for 12 months, clearing 193,271 sq. yards in Vangkhom, and unlocking the land for the women, girls, boys, and men who have lived in fear for years. However, thanks to the help of supporters in the UK, doubled by the UK government, MAG is now able to fund an additional team for six months, and hope to clear the equivalent of 32 soccer fields worth of land!
The 151 people who live in Vangkhom will benefit from safe land on which to farm, work, and play.
"I am very happy our new generation will study in safety and their parents will be comfortable to let their children study and play around the school."
Mr. Air, Vangkhom Village Chief
30 years in Cambodia with your support
Buth Chham and Yin Youn harvest rice on their land in Battambang, Cambodia. They have owned the land since 1997 but until the start of 2022 it was unusable because of the landmines and unexploded bombs found there.
Early in 2022 the land was cleared and is already being used to grow rice and cassava and keep cattle in safety. They have harvested their first crop which will help feed their family of five children, aged between 15 and 21.
2022 marked 30 years of MAG working in Cambodia. The continued generosity of our supporters means that thousands of people like Buth Chham and Yin Youn now have safe land and a more secure future.
"Before we were afraid to be here, but here we are now safe. I dig the land with no fear and my children are safe. That means everything."
Yin Youn, Cambodia