Community Based MRE
National NGOs with specialised MRE facilitators have been providing MRE since 2003 with technical and material support from UNICEF under the National Mine Action Programme which falls under the purview of Ministry of Economic Development. In 2010 Sri Lanka Army’s Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU) and the Police have been trained in MRE-provision. MRE should be provided regularly in all mine-infested areas – increasingly in support of local CBOs, etc. UNICEF staff and MRE agencies are providing landmine safety training to international and national staff working in the North and East. Rapid response MRE shall be provided immediately following mine/ERW incidents. Methods for community-based MRE range from direct presentations and safety briefings to house-to-house visits; traditional media (dance, poems, storytelling so on) are popular as well as using modern media (Video-session as part of a road show for example). The use of small media, such as posters and leaflets, is a complementary measure. Sign boards and bill boards are also used.
MRE activities were also considerably expanded after the war commencing with formal MRE in the welfare centres. Currently, the SLA/Humanitarian Demining Unit (HDU), along with five national NGOs, namely EHED-Caritas, Rural Development Foundation (RDF), Sarvodaya, Social Organisation for Development (SOND) and SHADE are conducting MRE activities in Sri Lanka in support of the National Mine Action programme.
School based MRE
The UNICEF supported school-based MRE programme dates back to 2003. Concerted efforts have been made in order to integrate MRE into the school curriculum in the Mine Affected areas of the North and East and more than 17,750 trained teachers and other education personnel have been equipped to teach MRE mainly in the North-East of Sri Lanka. In 2003 MRE was accepted as a supplementary module for primary and secondary levels. In 2006 a monitoring tool was developed to be implemented by ISAs and Assistant Directors of Education (ADEs) while providing (refresher) trainings to more than 600 ISAs/ADEs.
School principals from 4,499 schools have received an orientation on the MRE programme to support teachers trained in MRE and ISAs conducting monitoring. Additionally, when the principal requests an NGO to assist in providing MRE, the community-based MRE organizations and trained child animators have reached schools as well.
Progress was made to incorporate the subject into the national education curriculum as part of disaster management. Ministry and National Institute of Education officials, with UNICEF support, prepared mandatory MRE-lessons for grades 6-9 under the subject “Civic Education and Life Competencies” (under safety competencies). In January 2011, the curriculum for grades 6-9 was officially approved. Supporting the rollout of the new curriculum will be a major task for 2012.
Media based MRE
Media based MRE makes particularly use of mass media, mainly radio and print. UNICEF produced numerous materials as part of its media-based MRE projects included production of a calendar, reproduction of a snake & ladders game, a computer game and a story book for children. The number of audio-visual materials, billboards, posters, leaflets so on produced locally and disseminated for MRE during project implementation.
Young Asia Television (YATV) produced contextual updates of existing MRE short movies (in the three languages) with the support of UNICEF under supervision of NMAC .The films have been available for public education since January 2011 and are being widely used for MRE education in the field.