Mohamed is a 13 year old boy from Benghazi. He has one brother and three sisters. On Monday the 21st of March 2011, Mohamed was playing football with his friend in front of his apartment block, when he saw a shiny golden metal object next to a tree nearby. On his way up to his family’s apartment, Mohamed started hitting it against the wall. The object was a submunition. It exploded and fragments were scattered everywhere. The child was hit in the hand and face. He lost several fingers in the accident.
Today, he attends physical therapy to rehabilitate his hand and receives psychological support because he is deeply affected by this tragedy. He is slowly getting better.
Mohamed did not know the danger that such weapons represent. Like many children in Libya, he wanted to play with something that seemed fun and harmless.
Since March 2011, Handicap International hands out risk education information on mines and explosive remnants of war. To date, the organisation has distributed around 60,000 leaflets to vulnerable communities and displayed 5,000 posters in towns and cities contaminated by these weapons. 20,000 children’s textbooks have been handed out, mainly during risk education sessions in schools. Using simple images that everyone can understand, these books demonstrate the basic safety measures to take when faced with explosive remnants of war. Games are a fun and educational way of teaching children about the threats they face. A song has also been composed for them. Broadcast on radio stations across the country, it is now a national hit.
Around 50,000 people have now attended our risk education sessions, including at least 20,000 children, who are the main victims of these weapons.