Usually, the line of demarcation of hostilities runs past settlements in which civilians live, which inevitably encounters explosive remnants of war (ERW). In turn, military chaplains have the opportunity to communicate with both military and local population and provide them with educational work on safe conduct rules in landmines and ERW condition.
On July 27, 2019, trainers of the NGO ” Ukrainian Deminers Association” (hereinafter – Association) conducted the Mine Risk Education (MRE) session for military chaplains. This activity was within the framework of the “Annual Conference of Military Chaplains”. Session of MRE provided by experienced Association instructors: Sergiy Chutsky, member of the Board of the organization, head of MRE and Dmitry Panshin, member of the Expert Council of the organization. The event was also attended by Tymur Pistriuha, Executive Director of the Association.
The mine risk awareness session was conducted in an interactive format using modern adult learning techniques and the assessment of acquired knowledge in accordance with international mine action standards (IMAS) and standard operating procedures (SOP-2). 17 military chaplains from all over Ukraine received practical knowledge of mine danger and patterns of proper behavior in various hazardous situations and learned how to identify dangerous areas and explosive objects. The military chaplains were also provided with information on the format for informing adults and children about mine risk and effective methods of working with local populations to change behavior. This knowledge will be used by military chaplains in their daily service in eastern Ukraine. This, in turn, will enhance not only their personal safety and the security of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but also the local population, especially children.
At the end of the event, the military chaplains expressed their gratitude to NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” and asked for further cooperation in the direction of MRE on a systematic basis.
It also should be noted, that on July 18, in Kramatorsk NGO “Ukrainian Deminers Association” participated in the first coordination meeting on MRE within the framework of UNDP mine action cluster. The main purpose of the meeting is to establish interaction between all MRE participants in Ukraine. At the end of coordination meeting participants reached the agreement to create a single MRE planning database in Ukraine.
Due to the wide and high-quality selection of MRE experts who are active members of the organization, the Ukrainian Deminers Association becomes an active member of the process of Mine Risk Education. The Association will continue to participate actively in the MRE; the first of al,l in the East of Ukraine.