Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines

“Bells for Bombs”

04/04/2017 - 10:38
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The European Union in the Philippines is replacing old wartime bombs with school bells as part of its support to stability and peace in Mindanao.

Under the Project "Mine Action Support to the Peace Process"  funded by  Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSp), the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) carries out Mines and UXO Risk Education (MRE) in conflict areas of Mindanao.   MRE is delivered to schools and communities by FSD’s own UXO MRE/Survey teams and through volunteers and teachers trained by FSD, as MRE providers.  The aim is to reduce the number of accidents, and other detrimental effects on communities, caused by unexploded ordnance (UXO) and booby traps.

As with Malapag Elementary School in Carmen, North Cotabato, some of the schools in which FSD conducts risk education were found to be using old aircraft bombs as school bells.  In this case, the school bell was an old Japanese bomb, dropped during World War Two.  The presence of bombs in schools runs contrary to the message that UXO is dangerous and should not be touched; let alone hit with a hammer several times a day.

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