Emergency action of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for the North Caucasus and the South of Russia (July 2001)
31-07-2001 Operational Update
All year round Chechen children come to spend a few weeks in sanatoria in neighbouring regions of the North Caucasus. This programme is organised by the government of the Russian Federation. The ICRC mine awareness team takes the opportunity to meet with the children in a friendly and peaceful environment in order to talk to them about the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Chechnya. This programme, called " Child to Child " , is designed to make the children active participants in the mine awareness programme and to enable them to explain to their families and other children the risks they are exposed to in their everyday life by the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance.
The programme is also intended to make them more acutely aware what it means to be crippled by those weapons. For example, the children have to compete against each other in races with one leg bound up or to perform some exercises blindfolded. The loss of the lower limbs and of eyesight are in effect the most frequently occurring consequences of accidents involving these weapons.
In parallel to these lessons, the ICRC distributes to the Chechen children new footwear and school kits. Good shoes are an absolutely vital item to them considering the extent of destruction in the Republic.
A special assistance programme implemented by the Russian Red Cross has also been carried out since June in the North Caucasus and the South of Russia. The beneficiaries of this action get summer clothes (offered by the Finish, British, Swedish and Danish Red Cross Societies), shoes, blankets, kitchen sets and sets of baby clothes.