Every day children are killed and maimed by
weapons of current and past wars
Soldiers are not
the only victims of war.
Every day, 11 children are killed or maimed by landmines or weapons of past or current conflicts. Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), landmines and Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) cause injury or death indiscriminately for years after conflicts have ended.
According to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 70-85% of reported casualties are civilians – many of them children. According to UNICEF, an estimated 85 percent of child victims of landmines die before reaching the hospital.
Children, particularly refugees and displaced children returning home, are in particular danger of landmines because they are most likely to be unaware of the dangers of playing in or traversing hazardous areas. Naturally curious, children are most likely to pick up strange or shiny objects thinking they are toys, or to try to salvage them for scrap metal.
A child injured by a landmine will face months of painful recovery and a struggle to afford replacing prosthetic limbs as they grow. Many never return to school and face discrimination and social exclusion.
Landmines devastate the lives of children by killing or maiming their parents or caregivers. When mothers are maimed or killed, children are less likely to receive adequate nutrition, to be immunized or to be protected from exploitation. When fathers fall victim to landmines, children are often forced out of school and into work to supplement family income.
Help us reduce child casualties in conflict zones around the world.
Spirit of Soccer was founded in 1996 by a British soccer coach called Scotty Lee.
After spending years driving humanitarian aid convoys during the civil war, Scott returned to Bosnia in 1996 to deliver a coaching program for UK soccer club Arsenal FC. While he was there, a group of children were playing soccer when one set off a landmine. Three of the children were killed, four were maimed. All were under ten years old.
This tragic incident made Scott Lee certain of two things: Firstly, wherever the location and whatever the risk, children will always want to play soccer. Secondly, this love for a simple game could be harnessed to teach important safety messages and help prevent such incidents in the future. Spirit of Soccer was born.
An A-license accredited soccer coach, Scott has designed and implemented MRE programs using sport in Bosnia, Moldova, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos, Colombia and Sri Lanka.
He is the recipient of the Beyond Sport Most Courageous Use of Sport Award and the AFC Dream Asia Award in recognition of his work to reduce child casualties in conflict zones around the world.
Please make a donation and get involved! Spirit of Soccer is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and your donation is 100% deductible.
SOS Board of Directors
“I am a boy born and raised in the middle of a war. In my town there are many mines. It’s cool that you are teaching us this, so there can be no more accidents and deaths.”
2nd grade, Suarez, Colombia
“There are a lot of organizations here delivering Mine Risk Education in our classrooms, but the children sometimes get bored or even confused by so many similar activities. But when Spirit of Soccer comes, these are the sessions they like the most.”
$15 pays for Mine Risk Education for one child
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