Beirut, Lebanon – A 15-year civil war and multiple conflicts with neighbours such as Israel have left Lebanon plagued by lasting danger.
Vast areas of the country – particularly in the south – are contaminated with unexploded land mines and cluster munitions, and thousands of citizens have suffered from life-changing injuries that can prevent them from supporting themselves and their families.
This, combined with the economic impacts caused by unexploded ordinance preventing people from working their land, has meant that one in five Lebanese citizens – 900,000 people – is now directly affected by this issue.
But many medical, economic, and social civil society initiatives provide rehabilitation to the survivors of these accidents, helping them become self-reliant again. The Jezzine Landmine Survivors Cooperative, for instance, was set up to help survivors start new businesses, such as honey and chicken farming.
The Lebanese Welfare Association for the Handicapped (LWAH) helps most survivors in their post-accident rehabilitation. It provides free medical therapy, and has also set up local branches to help with the social aspects of recovery.
Many of the survivors lose confidence after their injuries, and initiatives like the Lebanese Land Mine Survivors football team give them a place to come to terms with their injuries.
Through these rehabilitation efforts, those affected are given a chance to thrive once again despite the challenges they face.