Issue 3.3 | October 1999
More than 90 percent of CARE's expenses go toward program activities, less than 10 percent goes toward overhead. In 1998 CARE delivered $339 million in aid. CARE is supported through the generosity of more than 400,000 American individuals and some 300 U.S. corporations and foundations. In addition, supporters in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe contribute through CARE International, a confederation of agencies from 10 nations. These private support helps CARE obtain funding and donated food commodities from governments and international organizations.
CARE Strives For:
¨ Basic education for children.
Land Mines, A Human Rights Issue; A Humanitarian Problem
Each year 26,000 people are killed by anti-personnel landmines. That translates
into 70 people every day, most of them innocent men, women and children. Landmines
don't just to kill; they maim and inflict terror. They are inhumane. Even when
the war is over, landmines continue to inflict horror on innocents for years
to come. Landmines also have a paralyzing effect in poor communities in many
places around the world. They cut off access to markets, schools, water and
farmland. CARE works in 39 of the 70 countries riddled with landmines, including
Angola, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Bosnia.
Once-fertile fields lie abandoned, haunted by the specter of death and disfigurement. Roads are deathtraps, even for relief workers in armored vehicles. Lands where children once played sit empty, the deadly areas sometimes marked, sometimes not. For the men, women and children who contend every day with landmines, the sheer numbers of the weapons make prospects bleak.
In June of 1995, CARE joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). This coalition of more than 400 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) takes a clear and unequivocal stand against the proliferation of these weapons. CARE will address the landmine problem directly through its new Systematic Landmine Removal Program. This program, the first attempted at the global level by an NGO, will clear areas of mines and educate local populations on mine avoidance and injury prevention. The program will begin in Angola, a country facing the prospect of 20 million landmines left over from its recently ended Civil War. CARE hopes to engage in similar work in Bosnia, Rwanda, Mozambique and Cambodia.
Since early 1995, CARE has lost four staff members to landmines, two in Afghanistan
and two in Ethiopia, as well as $425,000 in vehicles. As CARE moves to implement
its new land mine education and removal program, the risks for its workers will
only increase. Ester Sacapa, a CARE landmine awareness instructor and a mother
of five, she wishes all landmines could simply be removed. "Until then,"
she says, "we are saving our children's and neighbors' arms and legs by
telling them where to walk and what to do if they see a land mine."
This summer, a CARE mine action team was driving through the small village
This type of incident is precisely what the European Union-funded CARE Mine Related Interventions (CAMRI) Project is working to prevent. "This was a very bad day," observed Willy Williscroft, CARE's technical advisor for the CAMRI Project, "and unfortunately, this type of incident is not an unusual occurrence here; but you can't let it affect your ability to carry on. There is so much work to be done."
CARE's 21-person mine action team frequently works seven days a week to keep up with the demand for their skills. All staff are trained to clear and dispose of mines and explosives safely, and can be deployed in small groups. Removing all the mines and explosives in Angola would be a monumental undertaking; there are an estimated 15 million landmines in Angola. The CAMRI Project is coordinating its activities with other CARE relief and rehabilitation activities to clear critical areas: pathways and roads to water sources and health posts, agricultural land, and in and around where people live. CARE also provides mine awareness training to parents and children, so that they have the information and skills necessary to identify a potential problem and seek help before disaster strikes.