Society&Change Club members from Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) attended a Masterclass with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG). MAG is is a global humanitarian and advocacy organisation that finds, removes and destroys landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from places affected by conflict. Club members from MMU heard from Jon Brown, Director of Engagement at MAG, about his time working to clear unexploded bombs, landmines, and cluster munitions, specifically in South East and Western Asia, and especially Laos: the most heavily bombed country in history per capita.
Club members learned about MAG’s efforts to clear impacted areas, enabling communities to live safer and more sustainable lives. Videos were shared about the work MAG do with communities, which includes educating school children on how to identify dangerous objects, and how MAG recruit and train people from local communities, in turn financially supporting the families and the communities impacted by conflict.
Throughout the Masterclass, Club members were able to hold inert and safe explosive weapons, learning about the threat of armed violence and the importance of risk education. Protective equipment was also on display. Club members engaged in awareness-raising activities, lead by Julie Noonan, including envisioning how their lives would be impacted if they lived in areas impacted by cluster bomb contamination, and activities examining the statistics of impacted communities. Throughout the Masterclass, Jon and Julie shared stories about native communities and their powerful resilience, including the work of Yazidi women from Syria, Iraq and Iran that have trained with MAG to protect their communities.