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Helping mine victims in Colombia through urban gardening

Unfortunately the project hasn't met our fundraising goal.
project summaryDue to decades of conflict, explosive devices are widespread in Colombia. Mine victims often do not have adequate medical care and are socially and economically marginalised. FSD helps victims reintegrate through urban horticulture. Help mine victims to reintegrate back into their communities!


Years of conflict have resulted in a widespread presence of landmines and other explosive devices in Colombia. The consequences of this are mostly borne by the civilian population. Accidents regularly occur in which civilians are injured, maimed or even killed - true blows of fate. The Colombian mine action agency has counted more than 12'000 victims of anti-personnel mines and similar explosive devices.
Most survivors, many of whom have to undergo amputation, still have limited access to medical care. The national health system provides only the most basic assistance. This hinders or even prevents many mine victims from supporting themselves and often leads to social and economic marginalisation. This must be counteracted.
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Accidents related to explosive devices are often accompanied by the loss of working capacity, whereupon those affected are often perceived as a burden.
FSD (Fondation suisse de déminage) wants to give these people a "normal life" again and reintegrate them into society - through urban gardening.
Our staff identifies survivors who are residents of Bogotá. Factors such as age, economic situation, position within the family and location are taken into account in the selection process. An important requirement is that the potential beneficiaries have a suitable outdoor area in their home where the project can be carried out. The garden stations are adapted to the available space and the respective needs and installed by our team members. Suitable products for the local markets and restaurants are identified, as well as the quantities needed, the expected delivery times, as well as the presentation (raw, processed, packaged, etc.). FSD staff can help with transport, processing and distribution of the products as needed. Furthermore, participants are trained in bookkeeping and management. Individual support plans are prepared for each person, which are shared and discussed with local and national authorities.
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The key to the success of any victim assistance programme is an inclusive nature in the whole approach, because only with full participation of the beneficiaries in all decisions can self-determination and trust be built.
All activities are carried out in coordination with the National Mine Action Agency, the Victim Assistance Unit and the Colombian High Commissioner for Peace.
The current programme has already been running for six months in the urban area of Bogotá and, as can be seen in the pictures, is showing the first results.
With CHF 2'000, a complete aid package can be provided, covering the identification, supply and installation of the material, as well as 12 months of training for one affected person and continuous visits by our team.
An additional project year would enable FSD to support 40 more mine victims, which would correspond to a budget of about 80'000 CHF.
The donation target of CHF 5'000 will cover the total costs to help 3 mine victims. Help us to enable a better future for the beneficiaries!
In later phases of the project, the beneficiaries' flats will also be adapted so that they can cook for themselves and contribute more to domestic life (for example, by lowering work surfaces in the kitchen or providing ramps and adapted fittings).
As FSD already has an existing project in Colombia, certain cost items such as office rent or salaries can be kept low, so any donation amounts directly benefit the project participants.
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FSD is a humanitarian non-profit organisation based in Geneva. FSD aims to alleviate the social, economic and environmental impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war worldwide. It does this primarily by locating and neutralising these explosives, conducting risk education campaigns and providing support to civilian victims. FSD currently employs around 500 people on four continents and has worked in more than 30 countries since its founding in 1997.
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FSD's work in Colombia
Since 2016, a team of FSD professionals has been advising and assisting the Colombian Mine Action Agency. In 2017, the organisation participated in the drafting of a law to reduce the environmental impact of humanitarian demining operations. This is intended to protect the Amazon in particular from the potential negative impacts. In 2022, FSD initiated a victim assistance project in Colombia to provide long-term support to survivors of such accidents. In other projects, the approach of providing survivors with a livelihood through local business initiatives has already proven successful. This allows victims to reintegrate and actively participate in the social and economic life of their local community.
Learn more about our work in Colombia:
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