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Students lend a leg for a landmine-free world

Jake Delman is an intern at the Office of Public Policy and Advocacy, U.S. Fund for UNICEF

At the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, we believe that students can play a vital role in helping the world’s children survive and thrive. That’s why we are so impressed with a group in West Virginia called Proud Students Against Landmines and Cluster Bombs (PSALM).

PSALM students want a world where ALL children can walk and play without fear. In commemoration of International Mine Awareness Day on April 4, members of PSALM took part in the global Lend Your Leg campaign: asking participants to roll up a trouser-leg to draw attention to the fact that too many people, including children, lose their legs—or worse—from accidental encounters with landmines. These students also have a message for the U.S. Government: It’s time for us to join the International Mine Ban Treaty.

PSALM students with Lend Your Leg posters. Photo courtesy Nora Sheets/WVCBL.

PSALM students are from the St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School in Morgantown, West Virginia. The group’s coordinator, art teacher Nora Sheets, also chairs the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines. She and her students have been very active, donating their time and energy to raise awareness about landmines and cluster munitions, and even taking their message—and their legs—to Washington, D.C.!

As you know, this is an important issue for UNICEF. UNICEF has long opposed the use of
anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions and supported the international Mine Ban Treaty, because landmines kill children long after conflicts end. Unfortunately, the United States still has not ratified the Mine Ban Treaty—even though all of its NATO allies are parties to the treaty.

Our hats are off to PSALM—we hope their actions help put a stop to the unnecessary injuries and deaths that landmines inflict on kids around the world.

For more information about PSALM, visit www.wvcbl.org.

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