Every year on April 4th, TDI takes part in celebrations to mark International Mine Awareness Day (IMAD). The worldwide theme for this year’s celebrations was “Safe Ground, Safe Steps, Safe Home.” Landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to threaten millions of people around the world today. In light of this, the theme was chosen to recognise the achievements made in clearing the world of landmines and highlight the work that still needs to be done.
In South Sudan, the future safety of the country’s children was the focus of the celebrations. UNMAS and the country’s National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) organised an event in Juba with other mine action groups and non-governmental organisations operating in South Sudan. The event consisted of speeches, explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) sessions, a children’s drawing competition from selected schools, live music and dancing. Although it was a busy event, COVID safety precautions remained in place. Since 2020, IMAD celebrations have been scaled down substantially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the event in Juba, the TDI EORE/Community Liaison team in Pariang commemorated the day with a small celebration of invited guests. The invited guests delivered speeches followed by a presentation and operational demonstration by TDI. Similarly in Malakal, IMAD was celebrated with an event held by mine action organisations, members of the NMAA, the United Nations and ministry leaders. Speeches were delivered followed by an EORE session presented by TDI.
This year’s theme of ‘Safe Ground’ emphasises the need for the world to be free from landmines. Likewise, ‘Safe Steps’ draws attention to the fear that so many people live in when moving about, most often within their own communities. TDI is proud to take part in the annual IMAD celebrations and remains committed to reducing the presence of landmines around the world.