Wednesday, April 21, 2010


 April 23-25, 2010
 Artwalk Reception: Saturday, April 24, 6-8pm
 for Visual Arts Exhibitions in Silver Spring, MD

Vietnamese children’s drawings of bombs and mines threat to be shown in international exhibition

Quang Tri, Vietnam & Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A  – In a partnership with Amnesty International USA, twenty paintings drawn by children who live in unexploded ordnance (UXO) affected areas in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam will be shown in an April 2010 exhibition and during the community-wide Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival on April 23-25 weekend. 

The CHILDREN’S BOMBS AND MINES DRAWINGS will be exhibited from 12 to 26 April in Montgomery College Cafritz Hallway Gallery. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

930 King Street
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus of Montgomery College, MD
These paintings are some of several thousand entries in a “bombs and mine drawing” contest for Vietnamese children living around the former DMZ in Quang Tri Province, central Vietnam.  The contest is one of many risk education activities that are part of an effort by Project RENEW – a humanitarian mine action program – to reduce accidents and injuries from explosive ordnance.  Project RENEW is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) with funding from the U.S. government and other donors. 
The twenty drawings to be displayed in the exhibition stand out among hundreds of entries submitted from children enrolled in 25 elementary and secondary schools in Cam Lo District. The purpose of such contests is to help students express their creativity with ideas about an environment free from UXO. This also helps to educate children about the dangers of UXO, while reinforcing their responsibilities as part of the community to join in a common effort to disseminate risk education and safety messages.  A total of 5,632 paintings were submitted, presenting different topics on dangerous behaviors leading to UXO incidents, the dangers of UXO and other legacies of the war, and the value of risk education outreach activities at the local level.
It is hoped that such displays of children’s paintings, expressing their ideas and views of the threat of bombs and mines through their own eyes, will raise awareness of exhibit goers as well as the general public about the lingering impact of UXO in Vietnam, which has claimed more than 100,000 casualties since the war ended in 1975. 
These paintings, to be given away for a $50 donation, will help Project RENEW continue its efforts to reinforce risk education and safety messages in central Vietnam. 

See Project Renew's Flickr Set of drawings on display here

Contact information about donation for drawings is Anne Marchand, who is partnering with Project RENEW during the Amnesty International Human Rights Art Festival to focus on public awareness and mine risk education with an exhibition of her paintings at Kefa Cafe in Silver Spring, MD from April 6-28.There will be an Artwalk Reception for all the Visual Arts Exhibits on Saturday, April 24, 6-8pm

Space 7:10 at Kefa Café
 963 Bonifant St.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 589-9337

Check out MORE exhibition venues @ Amnesty International USA/The Human Rights Arts Festival

Since August 2001, when Project RENEW was launched as a partnership between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and the Quang Tri Province Department of Foreign Affairs, their top priority has been to prevent accidents, injuries and deaths among children and adults caused by thousands of pieces of unexploded ordnance remaining in the DMZ area since the end of the war. An urgent focus of their work is on cleanup – safe removal and destruction of cluster munitions, mortars, artillery shells, grenade, mines and other lethal debris – by trained and equipped Vietnamese teams of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists. Project RENEW currently has four teams working every day at known contamination sites in Quang Tri Province.

However, until the teams can schedule on-site responses and cleanup, prioritized by level of danger, urgency, location and proximity to homes, schools, and community activities, in the meantime it is critical that children and adults understand the nature of this threat and how to take responsibility for their own safety.

Through educational activities, community information programs, and media outreach, residents of the province are taught how to identify dangerous ordnance, what to do to protect themselves and their children, and how to report findings of UXO so that EOD teams can respond and remove the danger. The EOD teams depend on the community for active involvement and support in determining the urgency of the teams’ taskings and setting their scheduling priorities. They call it the Community Reporting Network (CRN). It was established by Project RENEW as part of their Mine Risk Education program, in partnership with the Youth Union.

The Youth Union is a grassroots organization made up of young volunteers from high school age to mid-twenties who are trained to go out into the villages and neighborhoods and teach the people how to be safe, what to do when they discover UXO.

YU members help Project RENEW staff to organize community meetings, school presentations, performance and entertainment events, parades and campouts – and painting and drawing contests – to maintain a high level of public awareness and safety vigilance. This combination of public awareness and community responsibility to report findings of UXO to RENEW’s disposal teams has helped bring about a measurable reduction in the number of accidents, injuries and deaths in recent years.

Project RENEW is a mine-clearance and public-safety partnership between VVMF and the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee.  Project RENEW safely removes and destroys ordnance, supports mine-risk education, and provides medical assistance and artificial limbs, rehabilitation and vocational training, and income generation for disabled families.

Project RENEW  |  Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War
103 Nguyen Binh Khiem  |  Dong Ha Town, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam
+845 3385 8445 tel  |  +845 3385 8442 fax
Ngo Xuan Hien, Development & Public Affairs Officer, +849 15 352 565  mobile

Project RENEW is sponsored by the

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW  |  Suite 104  |  Washington, DC  20037  |  202 393 0090  |

I would like my donation to go toward Project RENEW VVMF program:

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