Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Orillia Beatles Celebration

On September 21, 22, 23 Orillia hosted its' first Beatles Celebration and instantly became the largest in Canada. Adopt-A-Minefield/Canadian Landmine Foundation was selected as the charity by virtue of our association with Paul McCartney.

Staff of the Foundation spent two beautiful but windy days selling t-shirts, taking donations, and speaking to attendees about the landmine issue, Canada's international leadership, and our upcoming Night of A Thousand Dinners Campaign.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tragedy in Mozambique

The story below describes a horrible tragedy in Mozambique over the weekend. Our thoughts go out to the family that has lost so much.

The Foundation and our international partners have been supporting mine action in Mozambique for many years. I just visited Mozambique in May and was inspired by the strength of the people that have faced such hardship coming out of conflict. I was so proud of the many Canadians, especially in Rotary District 7070, that have supported landmine clearance in Mozambique. With continued support, eventually we will not have to read about the tragic impact of landmines anymore in Mozambique.


Six children killed after finding landmine
From correspondents in Maputo
August 26, 2007
The Daily Telegraph

SIX children from the same family were killed when a landmine left over from Mozambique's civil war exploded in the southeast African country, the interior ministry said today.
The children found the landmine while playing on Thursday in a field behind their home near the village of Namacura in central Mozambique, the ministry said.

One of the children wanted to open the explosive device, which resembled a can, causing the blast. The victims were between the ages of five and 16, public television reported.

Some 15 years after the end of the 1976-1992 civil war, more than 100sq km remain to be de-mined in the country nearly twice the size of California, especially in rural areas.

About 10 people die each year in accidental mine explosions in Mozambique.

In March, an explosion ripped apart Mozambique's main armoury and killed 119 people. Many of the explosives that went off in the blast were left over from the civil war.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Great Canadian Humanitarian

All of us at the the Canadian Landmine Foundation joins with people across Canada and around the world in mourning the passing of Carol Isfeld, M.S.M (civil division).

The story of Carol creating the "Izzy Doll" for her son Master Corporal Mark Isfeld to hand out to children in areas where he was serving as a peacekeeper, is legendary. Following Mark's death, while removing landmines in June 1994, Carol continued to knit Izzy Dolls and Canadian peacekeepers continued to hand them out where they were serving. The story of Mark Isfeld can be seen at http://www.isfeldbc.com/.

Carol Margaret Isfeld was born June 02 1939 and passed away on the 15th of August 2007 at approx 2100 hours in St Josephs Hospital Comox British Columbia. Carol, together with her husband Brian, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaƫlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on Friday, April 28, 2006.

Our deep condolences go out to Brian, their children and family on the loss of this inspirational person.

For more info please read this story from the Edmonton Sun: http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Canada/2007/08/18/4427503-sun.html


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

August 9th "Peacekeepers Day"

Tomorrow, citizens across the country will have the opportunity to honour Canadian contributions toward peacekeeping by wearing blue in observance of Peacekeepers Day. Peacekeepers Day, created by the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP), allows Canadians to learn the stories of our peacekeepers and recognize this great source of our national pride.

In his 1956 address to the United Nations general assembly concerning the creation of an intervention force to maintain a ceasefire agreement during the Suez Crisis, Lester Pearson said, “we need action not only to end the fighting but to make the peace… My own government would be glad to recommend Canadian participation in such a United Nations force, a truly international peace and police force.” With those words the notion of peacekeeping was born.

Former Prime Minister Pearson was an advocate of a UN role in peacekeeping in an attempt to confront and defeat the worst in Man with the best in Man. He believed Canada had a responsibility, and a vital interest in creating peace and security in countries ravaged by war. This strong conviction was recognized by the world community, when Pearson was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1957.

Canadian men and women have been deployed in over 50 UN and NATO sponsored peacekeeping missions. Behind all peacekeeping missions there are many stories of distinction. In 1984, while on mission in the Golan Heights, Colonel (ret’d) Donald Ethel, under tense circumstances arranged a significant prisoner of war and soldier remains exchange between Israel and Syria. Similarly in 1992, Major General (ret’d) Lewis Mackenzie displayed resolve to secure humanitarian aid to a war ravaged Bosnian civilian population during the conflict in the Balkans.

Tragically, some peacekeeping campaigns have led to the ultimate sacrifice. Many Canadians have loss their lives while serving on peacekeeping or peacemaking missions. On mission in Croatia in 1994, MCpl. Mark R. Isfeld lost his life to a landmine. In 1974, Canada suffered the single highest lost of life during a peacekeeping mission, when nine airmen were killed after their Buffalo aircraft was shot down over Syria.

Canadian peacekeepers have answered the call. The world owes our peacekeepers a debt of gratitude. Please wear blue tomorrow and honour their service.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Welcome to OUR Blog!

Welcome to all!!

To get us started I wanted to tell you a little about what drives us at the Canadian Landmine Foundation. Many years ago, on April 10th, 2000, a 11-year-old girl named Ema Alic and two of her friends were playing in a field north of Sarajevo and they were killed by an antipersonnel landmine. “I remember thinking at the time” said Scott Fairweather, President and CEO, “that my son was Ema’s age. It was tragic that their young lives were cut so short and that they died while they were playing. Just like my son loved to do.”

Sadly, Ema’s story is not unique. A few weeks ago we read a story about 5 Somali children that were killed by a landmine. The children on their way to Friday prayers stopped to play a little soccer. One of the kids found a landmine, didn’t know what it was, picked it up and threw it against the wall. All five kids and 3 passersby were killed.

It is so tragic that children have to live this way. When they want to play, they have to watch what they do, where they go and what they touch. It’s not right!!! They didn’t start the war. They didn’t plant the mines, but they are the ones that felt the pain.

We (at the Foundation) and thousands of Canadians are trying to make this situation right. We are working to make sure that stories like the ones above become less frequent and then in time a thing of the past. We want to give back valuable land and resources to people that have been devastated by war. And we want to help the many landmine survivors that need our much needed assistance.

We want NO MORE LANDMINES! And we are working to eradicate landmines from the earth!