MRE week programme in Batticaloa

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 June 2004, 04:20 GMT]
Over 700 children from 10 children's clubs in mine affected areas throughout the Batticaloa education zone marched from Eastern University, Chenkaladi junction to Tamil Maha Vidiyalayam in Eravur Saturday as part of the cultural day dedicated to Mine Risk Education (MRE) week activities organized by the Batticaloa UNICEF and Sarvodhaya, UNICEF sources said.

The children performed drama programmes on educating communities on the risk of landmines and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) and the necessity of banning the use of landmines, sources said.

Mr. Hanoch Barlevi of UNICEF declared open the ceremony with the traditional lighting of the oil lamp.

At the end of the event, UNICEF Head of Batticaloa, Ms. Andrea James, and MRE Coordinator, Mr. Somaraj, distributed sports kits to representatives of each children's club.

A similar event will be conducted in the Kalkudah and Paddiruppu education zones in the coming weeks, organizers said.

UNICEF has been supporting the mine risk education activities in 37 villages with areas not cleared of mines and UXOs in the Batticaloa district since 2003.

Through field officers and volunteers from each of these villages MRE programmes are conducted for children through children's clubs.

Also as part of the mine action activities in Batticaloa, Mine Advisory Group (MAG) conducts community mine risk education as part of their demining programme.

Under the UNICEF supported MRE programme 37 village children's clubs have been formed with volunteers trained from each village in the Batticaloa district. In addition to the MRE clubs activities, education, sports activities and sramadana (voluntary social work) are also supported.


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