Women in Humanitarian Mine Action & Mine risk educationDespite the challenges they face, women like Aisha are resilient, committed and dedicated in their fight for a better future for themselves and their families. “If something bad happened to your family impacting your life, do not hide in your room! You are the compass for your family. Life goes on, proceed with success”, Aisha
“I want to help people by teaching them how to stay safe”
This is the story of Aisha, a Syrian woman, mother, wife of a mine victim and Risk Education facilitator
After the conflict broke out in Syria, Aisha became one of the 5.6 million Syrians who were forced to flee the country seeking safety. In 2013, along with her husband and two children, she left her hometown in northern Syria and began the journey to Turkey, currently host to 3.6 million Syrian refugees, to settle in Kilis, a town close to the Syrian border.
Back in Syria, Aisha worked as a teacher to support her family, a job she has always loved. Life became more challenging when her husband stepped on a landmine on the route to Turkey, which resulted in the loss of one of his legs. “I was trying my best to support my husband, but the doctors recommended to amputate his leg. We had to wait for a year before he could get an artificial limb,” says Aisha.
Having witnessed accidents by explosive ordnance in Syria, including that of her husband, Aisha strongly believes that Mine Risk Education is key to protecting people and reducing casualties. In 2015, Aisha decided to return to Syria with her family and so she made sure her children are equipped with the right knowledge to stay safe. "I had an awful experience, so I had to research and read about how to stay safe in the presence of unexploded ordnance and how to protect my children. I taught them that they shouldn’t go out alone, use unpaved roads, or touch unknown objects," says Aisha. However, the conflict was far from over and the family ended up suffering from multiple internal displacements forcing them to return to Turkey.
In Turkey, Aisha has had to work multiple jobs for long hours to make ends meet. In 2019, she received a landmine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) training by the Danish Refugee Council-Danish Demining Group (DRC-DDG), funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). After the training, she started working with the Humanitarian Mine Action Association in Turkey (iMFAD) in partnership with DRC-DDG as a Risk Education facilitator. “We suffered from that accident and lived through a bad experience, so I don't want someone else to suffer the same way. This is why I want to help people by teaching them how to stay safe," adds Aisha.
Despite the challenges they face, women like Aisha are resilient, committed and dedicated in their fight for a better future for themselves and their families. “If something bad happened to your family impacting your life, do not hide in your room! You are the compass for your family. Life goes on, proceed with success”, Aisha concludes.
**names are changed