We Save Lives.
Birmingham Friends Meeting, through the leadership efforts of members Ted Brinton and Ruth Young, has raised money to buy mine detectors for use in developing countries, where warfare has rendered land unusable because of buried mines.
The detectors have been bought from the Schonstedt Instrument Co. for $1041 each, and for each one we have bought, Schonstedt, from its own Humanitarian Demining Initiative, has added a second one for free and shipped them both to the UN Mine Action Service, through which they have been distributed to world-wide locations. Over the past seven years, the Meeting has raised funds mainly through organizing Peace Fairs and selling quilts, t-shirts etc.; these efforts, together with Schonstedt’s own charitable contribution, have resulted in twenty-four mine detectors being donated to countries such as Nepal, Cambodia and Gaza.
The benefits of their efforts have been huge. Typically, areas that most need mine clearance are in developing countries where families farm their land to feed themselves; such families often rely on the labor of women and children to work their fields. Who has not seen the distressing photo of a child maimed by stepping on a mine, or read the sad story of a family bereavement from working in a mined area? Providing the means to detect buried mines is a win-win proposition: it prevents injuries and fatalities and it allows land, contaminated with buried mines, to be returned to much needed food production.
This program has been enthusiastically supported by Birmingham Friends Meeting, and by these efforts much good has been done for many people.