Every day, LSN connects landmine survivors to other landmine survivors to help the victims recover and thrive.
In the spring of 2005, LSN-Ethiopia Outreach Worker Yonas Fekadu met 10-year-old Alayu in a local hospital. Alayu had recently lost his arm to a landmine. His family had lost all hope for his future. Fekadu sat on Alayu’s bed, removed his prosthetic arm, and handed it to the boy.
“They stopped crying and listened to me. I showed them Alayu would be alright, just as I was.” Fekadu connected Alayu to other children with disabilities, and encouraged him throughout his recovery and rehabilitation. “Today, Alayu has a prosthetic arm and is a very active, happy young boy.”
In truth, most landmine victims die—particularly children. Their bodies simply cannot withstand the explosive impact. For those who live, LSN can be the difference between embracing life and wanting death. This is why we employ survivors as LSN Outreach Workers. Their job? To educate, inspire, and counsel other victims who have yet to escape the hopelessness and despair that often accompany traumatic limb loss.
Because they are amputees themselves, LSN Outreach Workers offer living proof of just how promising the future can be. Outreach Workers know where to find the right doctors and the right job opportunities. But more importantly, they are survivors who know firsthand what it takes to rebuild lives. Meeting these role models encourages confidence in victims to reclaim their lives.
Landmine victims not only need prosthetic limbs and job training, they need compassion and support from others who have been through the same experiences. They need someone who can help them face the challenges ahead.
Following his amputation, Omar Mohammed of Jordan had far more questions than answers. “How could I live on one leg? Or feed my kids? I was overwhelmed by despair. I felt ashamed.”
Mohammed was referred to LSN. “I told them of my accident,” he said. “My voice was low, my hands were shaking, and tears filled my eyes. But they welcomed me. They asked me what I needed.”
Mohammed needed a new leg and a job.
“One of them told me, ‘You have lost one leg. I have lost two legs! Yet, my life is beautiful.’ His support was a gift to my soul.” Omar got his prosthetic leg and, thanks to the Outreach Worker’s example, a renewed outlook on life as well.
In 2005, LSN Outreach Workers connected with nearly 3,600 survivors. Some needed prosthetic limbs. Some needed jobs. Some needed companionship or counseling. Others were isolated and did not know how to reconnect with their families and communities. In every case, LSN worked with survivors individually to find out what they needed to help rebuild their lives.
Landmine Survivors Network works on the ground in mine-affected countries around the world to help mine victims. We connect landmine survivors to others needing help and guidance. Survivor by survivor, LSN helps victims recover and thrive.
Please help us continue this vital, life saving work with your support. Thank you on behalf of the landmine survivors who count on LSN’s help.
Photo caption: Alayu, left, with LSN Outreach Worker Enquayehu Asres.