About the project
Burma (Myanmar) has an enormous, and growing, landmine problem.
Every day people tread on landmines laid by the Burmese Army, militia
groups or guerrillas. Many people injured by landmines die of their
injuries before they reach medical care. The Burmese government is now
the only government in the world that manufactures landmines and uses
them against its own people.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines estimates that ten per cent
of townships in Burma are effected by landmines. Vast areas in
Karen State and along the Thai-Burma border are now heavily contaminated with
The Landmine Refugees Project (LRP) will bring refugees to Australia
from refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border to start new lives in
Bendigo, in regional Australia. We will help refugees who have lost legs
(and sometimes arms) to landmine explosions.
Why help refugees who have been injured by landmines?
- Helping refugees most in need – With more than 150,000 refugees on the
Thai-Burma border, it can be hard to know who to help. But refugees who
have been injured by landmines are among those who have suffered the most.
- You can’t lie about a landmine injury – Knowing if people claiming to be
refugees are telling the truth can sometimes be hard. But you can’t lie
about being losing a leg to a landmine.
The Landmine Refugees Project has two parts:
- Bringing the refugees to Australia – We will sponsor refugees (with
their families) to come to Bendigo through the Australian government
refugee program. The refugees must be living in refugee camps in
Thailand, must be registered with the United Nations, and must apply
through the Australian Embassy in Bangkok for refugee visas.
- Giving the refugees the best start in Australia – Refugees themselves
tell us they want to learn English quickly, get paid work, and make
friends in the wider community. We plan to make this happen.
A fair go
The Landmine Refugees Project will help refugees who have been injured
by landmines, whatever their religion or ethnic group. It is not only
Karen refugees who have been injured by landmines: many Mon, Karenni,
Shan and Burmese Muslim refugees have lost legs and arms to landmines. We will help refugees from all refugee
camps on the Thai-Burma border.
Bringing genuine refugees to live in Bendigo matches Australian
government policy of resettling refugees from refugee camps outside
Australia, to live in regional areas.
The Landmine Refugees Project is a partnership of the following
- Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation
- Karen Baptist Community Victoria
Refugees Project flyer (A4 document - English and Burmese)
Landmine Refugees Project - A Christian Reflection (A4 document
- English and Burmese)
Landmine Refugees Project - A Christian Reflection (A3 document
- English and Burmese)
Images: A landmine warning sign (top), a Karen refugee child
stands next to his father's prosthetic leg (above).