During the recent conflict in former Yugoslavia, millions
of mines were seeded into the Bosnian countryside, each
one a potential killer. In addition to this there is a
significant amount of unexploded ordnance (UXO) also
hidden and also very deadly. Medex, a local
nongovermental organization (NGO), will bring children
from all over Bosnia to their mine awareness camp in
Central Bosnia for professional tuition in mine and UXO
of Local NGO Medex
Medex originally found its roots as the mountaineering
society of Novi Travnik. It was formed in 1968 and its
membership list included people from all ages and ethnic
backgrounds. During the recent war, Novi Travnik was torn
apart with Muslims one side and Croats on the other. When
the hostilities between these two entities ceased in
April 1994, the mountaineering society invited all its
past and present members from both sides to its annual
celebration day in the mountains. Many people from both
sides and some international NGO's attended and the day
was an unprecedented success.
In the Summer of 1994 in the wake of increasing incidents
of mine injuries and fatalities particularly among
children, the mountaineering society decided to form a
local NGO to combat the problem. The NGO, called Medex,
was first registered with the Government in August 1994.
Medex first brought children to its mine awareness camp
in May 1996.
3. Partner NGO
ICRC, the leading NGO on the world's mine problem has
helped financially and with equipment to set up the camp.
In addition to this stable partner NGO, many other
international NGO's and organizations have supported
Medex on an ad hoc basis.
Justification for Project
Since the signing of the Dayton Agreement and the end to
hostilities, many people have been able to return to
their homes and farms. Unfortunately there are few places
in Bosnia where it is certain there are no mines and as
people returned to their land the frequency of mine and
UXO incidents increased, particularly among unsuspecting
ICRC carried out a mine and UXO incidents study in 1996.
The study did not cover all cantons or indeed any of
Republika Srpska but recorded 312 separate incidents over
11 months, resulting in more than 120 deaths and more
than 200 amputations, a significant portion of which were
children. The study was not complete but can be used as a
minimum figure with the true figure as much as three
UNMAC, the UN's mine awareness centre in Sarajevo
estimate that even these figures will more than double in
1997 as more refugees return from their counties of
SFOR estimate there are between 1-3 million mines
littered in the Bosnian countryside with as many as 50%
of them in unmarked sites. They estimate that a concerted
effort, far in excess of what is in operation today, to
find and deactivate only 90% of them would take several
Bosnian children aged between 8 - 18 years from all
6. Target Area
All cantons of Bosnia and Herzegovina including Repubika
The main project objective is to provide all children
with professional instruction in mine and UXO awareness.
The Medex mine awareness camp for children is located in
the mountains between Novi Travnik and Gornji Vakuf. Its
geographical central location facilitates visits from all
areas. Children are invited as classes from schools,
youth centres, youth groups, children's homes and
orphanages. The camp has a capacity of sixty children
which means more than 3000 children a year can benefit.
The children stay for six days.
During their stay they will have lessons on:
i) Mine and UXO awareness
ii) First aid
iii) Social and ethnic tolerance
iv) Respect for the countryside
Recreational activities will include:
i) Hill walking
iii) Various sports (Football, volleyball etc.)
iv) Skiing (Winter)
It is the aim of Medex to make the camp as enjoyable as
possible for the children whilst at the same time they
are learning. Indeed for many of the children it will be
their first break since the beginning of the war.
However, Medex is not a holiday camp and apart from the
tuition the children will be expected to take part in the
running of the camp including fetching wood, washing up,
helping to prepare meals etc.
At the end of the week the children will have a short
In 1996, Medex carried out a prototype operation to
ascertain the demand for this type of project. Using
tents, equipment and food from International
Organisations, the Medex mine awareness camp had 720
children pass through from all over Bosnia. None of these
children have subsequently been involved in mine
Unfortunately due to lack of funds most of these
organizations are unable to help this year and if the
camp and its life saving work are to continue a donor
must be found.
Medex estimates the need for this project for the next
two to three years.
9. Budget (click on
this to see Attached Schedule)
funding 1st April 1997 - 31st March 1998
required ECU 206.974.4
Signed Adem Kuric
Chairman Executive Committee
In Novi Travnik,
20th March 1997