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Every first-grader here knows what mine, MRLS “Grad” (multiple launch rocket system), automatic antiaircraft gun and check-point is.

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It is rather hard discussing with kids some adult topics.

There is new dimension in our project activity – mine awareness. Our employees have passed through the trainers’ course on mine awareness provided by Danish Demining Group.

The first discussions we have conducted with children in schools of Avdiivka. This city is situated on the frontline. Such signs as “Be aware of mines!” are not rare here. Locals are dealing with explosive objects almost every day.
As I said it is rather hard to discuss some adult topics with children. Moreover, it is more hard to understand that you didn’t manage, not to shock, but even to impress them a little bit with such a discussion.

Every first-grader here knows what mine, MRLS “Grad” (multiple launch rocket system), automatic antiaircraft gun and check-point is.

All children here saw signs “Be aware of mines!” in the fields and wooded areas around the city.

Every child here has several trophy fragments or bullets that were found near the house or presented as a gift by adults.

Every child here had waited out shelling in basement.

Children are spontaneous and do not hesitate to tell how they found full and empty cartridges, threw them into the fire; or about how they went to the abandoned military points aiming to find something interesting.

After the discussion they start to understand all the dangerousness of their actions and that they should be more careful in future. They also start to understand that the cost of their one wrong step or decision can be their own lives.
The new rules for children from grey zone: “do not go to the dangerous or unknown territories”, “do not touch suspicious objects” and “always pay attention to any warning signs” – have become ordinary. Those norms of behaving have become undeniable part of their lives as road rules or fire security.

We will continue our discussions with children and adults who are living in areas near the frontline. If you are interested in this topic and want us to conduct such training on mine awareness in your school, community or enterprise, you should call on our hot-line or apply via e-mail or through our official web-site.


Dmitry Shybalov

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