10 year-old Amin was playing with his cousin when he found an unexploded bomb.
“I was thrilled and wanted to show it to my friends,” he said. “I grabbed the bomb. It exploded immediately.”
“Shrapnel entered my chest, it burned like a fire. I was rushed to a hospital in Aleppo where I stayed for a month,” he added.
The drive from Amin’s town to the nearest hospital in Aleppo city takes almost an hour. Luckily Amin’s life was saved.
Amin’s home town Assan was under heavy fighting since July. With fighting subsiding in the area, many families are returning home. But the heavy presence of unexploded remnants of war poses a life-threatening risk to children.
UNICEF partners reported that six children were injured by mines in Assan, just like Amin. In east Aleppo city, six children died in December when they were playing with unexploded ordnance. UNICEF is urgently providing mine risk education for children and their families as they return to potentially dangerous areas.
UNICEF-supported partners and volunteers are going door-to-door providing children, adolescents and parents life-saving information on the risk of remnants of war. Since last November, more than 80,000 people received information through house visits and awareness sessions to help them easily detect when they see harmful objects like mines.
“Our priority is to reach children. Because they are often very curious, they want to explore their surroundings which puts them at the greatest risk,” said Mohammad, a volunteer participating in the UNICEF-supported risk education campaign. “What we do is very important. Even if it is saving just one life. Being able to protect thousands of children is very significant”
Back in Assan, Amin attends educational sessions on raising awareness about unexploded ordnances. “From now on, if I ever see such objects I will stay away. I will report it to an adult who will take action,” he says.
Here are few photos of Amin and UNICEF volunteers providing education on risks of unexploded ordinances.