Martin, who has worked for charities in places including Bangladesh and West Africa, first heard about HI's work with conflict-affected communities through his long association with the South Somerset Peace Group.
In the run up to the 2003 war in Iraq, Martin, along with other local campaigners in Ilminster and the surrounding area, established a local Stop the War group which evolved into the peace group. It was through a talk one evening that Martin found out more about our work supporting the victims of conflict in places like Afghanistan, Gaza and Iraq.
Inspired by Martin’s support, South Somerset Peace Group has raised funds for HI for a number of years. In 2014 the group organised an evening of poetry and prose to raise funds. One member even asked that donations should be made to us instead of receiving presents on her birthday! The group also hosted a talk by our Mine Action expert, Fred Maio, and John from HI UK.
Martin (left) with fellow campaigners handing in our Lives and Limbs petition at 10 Downing Street, March, 2015. © HI
An effective way of combating landmines and cluster munitions
Martin explains why South Somerset Peace Group decided to support HI's work:
“The group supports HI as a practical and effective way of combating landmines and cluster munitions through their work clearing minefields, assisting victims, risk education and campaigning against these horrific weapons.”
In 2015 Martin joined other campaigners to hand-in a petition at 10 Downing Street. The petition, which Martin had collected hundreds of signatures for, called for UK Aid to provide more life-saving risk education to prevent accidents involving landmines and explosive remnants of war, and to urgently prioritise the clearance of contaminated areas.