"Every day in a child's life is a day of new advantages and discoveries. Any child might fall down and scratch their hand or foot, but this is common in life and, as we say, it will heal before they are married. But such dangers as cluster bombs and other munitions pose can result in the loss of a hand or a foot or even a life, which will change the child's life forever. Before the clearance we were scared to let our children play beyond the playground. Thanks to HALO and The Julia Burke Foundation we now can be sure that our children's lives are safe and nothing serious poses a danger to them. Their happy and smiling faces are the warmest thank you, which we would like to pass to HALO and The Julia Burke Foundation."
These are words of Marine Gevorkyan, a mother and teacher in Jabrail Village in Nagorno Karabakh. The HALO Trust, the staff of HALO Nagorno Karabakh, and the people of Nagorno Karabakh are profoundly grateful to The Julia Burke Foundation for its generous support. The benefit in terms of lives and limbs saved is incalculable. HALO was pleased to present letters of thanks from the President and Prime Minster of Nagorno Karabakh to Marilyn and Jerry Burke.This year, The Foundation is supporting HALO's important new program in Zimbabwe.
Similar to the citizens of Nagorno Karabakh, Zimbabweans live with explosive remnants of war, which threaten injury and death, and block access to valuable land for farming. The urgency of the issue was highlighted by a recent accident when a 16-year old boy lost his leg to a landmine The Julia Burke Foundation has provided critical start-up support to assist HALO with the survey of this land and to lay the strong foundation upon which HALO will train and deploy hundreds of local deminers in 2012 and 2013.
HALO would like to thank The Julia Burke Foundation for its longstanding commitment to a minefree world. Where The Julia Burke Foundation has cleared minefields and battlefields, farmers are now planting their crops, homes and roads are being rebuilt, and children play, secure in the knowledge that their next step will be a safe one.