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Today, April 4th, 2013 is the International Day for Mine Awareness. I had the powerful experience  of meeting Mr.Thi, a local man from Dong Ha who survived a cluster munition explosion while farming in 1997. To me, Mr.Thi is a hero.  Like many survivors here, after his surgery he did not receive rehabilitation until 2 years after his amputation, he still has 4 pieces of the cluster munition left in his body, and there have been offers to remove them, but Mr.Thi refuses.  When I asked him why, his response was “I’d like to keep them in my body to remind me everyday why I advocate for this cause.”  He says that he owes his recovery to the intense support he received from his family and community. Through this, Mr.Thi has shown exceptional resistance, he possess many provincial trophies for badmintion that he won well after he lost his right hand. He got married after his accident and speaks highly of his wife and the 3 beautiful children they have together. He travels to advocate for survivors and the signing and ratification of Mine Ban, Arms Trade, and Cluster Munition treaties. He did not display any feelings of remorse, just hope for a better future for all survivors. He is devoted to the cause and I look forward to working with him over the next few months, stay tuned to learn more about Mr.Thi and his tireless efforts to improve the lives of survivors in his community and soon, around the world.Image

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