IN THIS ISSUE OF THE MINE DOG MESSENGER
 
 
 
Happy Holidays! Give the gift that keeps on giving by donating to MLI
Bosnia: Sniffing out explosives

 
 
 
 
Lebanon: MDD Team of Year 
CHAMPS updates: Connecticut, Bosnia, and Yemen
Clearing the Path Gala: Highlights
 
 
 
 
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
 
 
 
 
Give a gift that keeps on giving by donating in honor of a loved one this holiday season! 

The holidays are fast approaching and making a tax-deductible donation to MLI this season is a wonderful way to make a difference in the world and honor someone special in your life.  Even a small gift will have a huge impact and can save lives. Did you know that just $5 provides the support needed to help a mine detection dog search more than 2,000 square feet of land? 
 
With each donation made in their honor, your loved ones will receive a free holiday card (like the one above) from the Marshall Legacy Institute that describes the impact that the donation is making on the lives of men, women, and children living in mine-contaminated areas.
 
If you cannot make a donation at this time, please help this holiday season by sharing this newsletter and spreading the word about the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) to friends and family.
 
We deeply appreciate your kindness and generosity. Please know that your support benefits thousands of people — whose names you likely will never know and faces you will never see — but who will be able to walk, play, and work on safe land because of your support. Thank you so very much.
 
 
GIVE NOW
 
 
For more information visit 
 
 
 
 
PROGRAM UPDATES
 
 
 
 
BOSNIA: Sniffing out explosives   

Over the past 11 years, MLI has donated 31 life-saving Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to Bosnia and Herzegovina. These dogs have searched nearly 2 million square meters of mine-contaminated land, impacting thousands of lives.

Five MDDs are currently working with the Federal Administration of Civilian Protection (FACP), which recently undertook a large and complex bomb disposal operation in the town of Bosanska Otoka in western Bosnia. The 500-pound bomb was air-dropped during WWII and was found during a routine excavation for phone lines in the town. Due to its dangerous condition and close proximity to homes, the bomb had to be rendered safe and destroyed in situ. This involved evacuating nearly 5,000 people from the town and erecting a barrier of 55,000 sand bags, weighing 3,000 tons, to protect the nearby homes from the explosion! The MDDs were instrumental in assisting the FACP during the town’s evacuation to guarantee that only designated personnel remained. 

Following the successful detonation of the bomb, the MDDs searched the surrounding area to ensure that no dangerous explosive residue was left behind and rendered the town safe for residents to return. It was an incredibly successful, albeit unusual, operation, and Sead Vrana, the Chief of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Dept. reported that, thanks to their careful work and the 55,000 sandbags, "not a single window was cracked" when the bomb exploded, despite its very close proximity to homes!
 
 
Our MDDs with handlers during the bomb disposal operation
 
 
LEBANON: MDD Team of the Year 
MDD Joan and Sergeant Soleh named MLI's "MDD Team of the Year" 

During this year's 18th Annual Clearing the Path Gala, MDD Joan and her handler Sergeant Ahmad Soleh were honored with the Marshall Legacy Institute's "MDD Team of Year" award. MDD Joan was sponsored by the Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation in 2010 and donated to the Lebanon Mine Action Center. Together with Soleh, she has searched more than 68,000 square meters of land!

Sergeant Soleh is incredibly fond of MDD Joan - the bond between them, as well as the respect they have for each other, is very strong. Not only has MDD Joan exhibited superior performance in the field, but together with Soleh, who is passionate and dedicated to his work, they are one of the strongest MDD teams in Lebanon.    
 
 
 
 
"Since the day I saw Joan, I loved her. I knew we would be a great team together. A special bond was created between us, which helped me a lot during the training at first, and now in the mine fields, as well...I have total confidence in her work." - Sergeant Soleh
 
 
 
 
MDD Joan and Soleh were invited to the United States for our annual Gala, and while here, they visited one of the local CHAMPS schools, Glenelg Country School, in Maryland. Students at Glenelg Country School met Joan and Soleh, who demonstrated the type of work they do together and its impact on the daily lives of people in Lebanon. After the visit, students sent kind thank you notes and drawings to Soleh and MDD Joan! ​
 
 
 
 
CHILDREN AGAINST MINES PROGRAM (CHAMPS)
 
 
 
 
CHAMPS CAMPAIGNS CONTINUE 

MLI's Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS) continues to thrive, connecting children in mine-affected countries with youth in the United States, enabling them to communicate via video conference on a regular basis and engage in service learning projects. Participating American students have sponsored 35 of the 205 life-saving mine detection dogs that MLI has donated to 11 war-torn countries around the world and have helped hundreds of children who have been injured by landmines. 

Below are highlights of a few of the amazing campaigns around the world to support CHAMPS.
 
 
 
 
Celebrating 10 years of the CHAMPS-CT campaign: MLI's CHAMPS team visited Greenwich, CT, November 5-7 to support on-going CHAMPS fundraising efforts and celebrate 10 years of the CHAMPS campaign in Connecticut. Throughout the 10 years, Greenwich kids have sponsored 10 life-saving dogs, and they are well on their way to sponsoring an 11th MDD! During this visit, MLI gave presentations at 6 local schools, conducted interviews with reporters, and addressed local Rotarians.

Gift of warmth: students from Glenelg Country School made fleece blankets for mine survivors in Yemen, which were delivered to survivors at the Yemeni Association of Landmine Survivors.  ​
 
 
 
 
CHAMPS Bosnia: Recently, CHAMPS Team members from three CHAMPS schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina visited the home of a landmine survivor named Marinko Tomic, who received a prosthetic leg through CHAMPS earlier this fall. The children fed the chickens, harvested vegetables, tilled the garden and cleaned Mr. Tomic's yard.  CHAMPS Managers, Marija and Leila, explained to Mr. Tomic that the children and teachers not only wanted to provide him with a prosthetic limb, but also wanted to get to know him, to help him do things that he might not be able to do easily for himself, and to let him know that he has not been forgotten. Mr. Tomic was visibly moved by their kind offerings of friendship and assistance.
    CHAMPS schoolchildren in Kreševo also made an informative video about the dangers of landmines, which you can watch here on YouTube
 
 
 
 
IF YOU KNOW A SCHOOL OR GROUP
that would be interested in participating in CHAMPS,

Please email us at info@marshall-legacy.org for more information about the program and its benefits for children around the world. You can also learn more at the new CHAMPS Zone on MLI's website!  
 
All of the youth participating in CHAMPS campaigns are working very hard to raise funds to sponsor mine detection dogs and to help mine survivors, and MLI is so proud of what they are accomplishing. If you would like to support their efforts, please consider making a donation to their campaigns - each is listed on MLI's website and donations can be designated to particular CHAMPS campaigns.​
 
 
 
CLEARING THE PATH GALA: highlights
 
 
 
 
This year's 18th annual Clearing the Path Gala event was held on October 20th at the elegant Fairmont Hotel in Washington D.C. It was a huge success thanks to the continued support of our donors and sponsors, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars! These generous contributions will support MLI's programs around the world and will help eliminate the devastating effects of landmines on innocent people and animals. MLI is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from the many participants and contributors. Our work towards creating a world free of mines would not be possible without your help. We would also like to extend our thanks to all of this year's sponsors and especially our Title sponsor, General Dynamics, whose contributions impact thousands of people around the world. 

Please see below for photos from this year's Clearing the Path Gala. More photos are also available on our websiteThank you once again ​and we hope to see you at our 2016 Clearing the Path Gala on October 12, 2016!
 
 
General Gordon Sullivan, USA (Ret.), Public Policy Honoree Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), and MLI President Perry F. Baltimore III
General Dynamics VP, Dan Johnson, Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) and Mrs. Blumenthal, with CHAMPS Honorees Ms. Julie Cofone and Henry Harris, and CHAMPS Founder Mrs. Diana Enzi
Sergeant Soleh and MDD Joan receive the MDD Team of the Year Award from General Sullivan and Perry Baltimore
Stan Brown with 2015 Survivor Honoree, Bekele Gonfa, and Ken Rutherford
Captain Larkin O'Hern receives the 2015 Survivors Award from General Sullivan
 
 
 
Your donation will help us improve the lives of thousands of people around the world and enable entire communities to prosper without the fear of landmines. 

Thank-you!

 
 
 
 
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Visit: www.marshall-legacy.org   Call: (703) 243-9200 
​2425 Wilson Boulevard #240 | Arlington | Virginia | 22201 
 
 
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