Home > News > Fight off Corona, Keep away from UXO: New Message of RENEW’s Mine Risk Education in the Post-COVID-19
Representatives of Project RENEW and Gio Linh District Youth Union hand over the washbasin to Gio Linh Primary School principal. 27 May 2020.

Gio Linh, Quang Tri (27 May 2020) – Over 900 students and teachers of Gio Linh Townlet Primary School were delighted to receive a wash basin with sanitizers for prevention of the COVID-19 from Project RENEW and partner Gio Linh District Youth Union in a handover ceremony integrated with UXO safety messages that took place today at the school.

This event also marks the resumption of RENEW’s Mine Risk Education Program funded by Irish Aid after nearly four months of suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In the context following the Government’s permission to reopen schools in early May 2020 after the social distancing period to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, school administers and parents share a similar concern about safety for the children and prioritize completion of education to end the school year. Project RENEW had consulted local partners, beneficiary groups and other stakeholders to make timely adjustment of our Mine Risk Education after Vietnam declared a new “normalcy” status.

Accordingly, in 2020, Project RENEW will install 40 wash basins in coupled with UXO safety messages and COVID-19 precautions at 40 schools in Quang Tri and Quang Ngai – the location of replication of RENEW’s Mine Risk Education model in collaboration of the Red Cross Association. In addition, extra-curricular education activities at the Mine Action Visitor Center, grassroots football games and summer camping events will be organized in the subsequent months.

Gio Linh Primary schoolchildren attend a UXO safety session before the handover of the washbasin. 27 May 2020.

“With the key message: “Fight off corona – Keep away from UXO” being clearly printed on the wash basins, communication standees and the loudspeaker system by the children troupé, it is our hope that not only schoolchildren but their parents will access basic guidelines to prevent the COVID-19 as well as to reinforce their awareness of UXO risks,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phu, Project RENEW Mine Risk Education Officer. “We are grateful to have support from our donor – Irish Aid, District Youth Unions and other stakeholders in the joint efforts to keep the communities safe from COVID-19 and UXO.”

First grader Bao An happily joins the event with her classmates. 27 May 2020.

In 2019, with the funding of Irish Aid, Project RENEW’s Mine Risk Education in collaboration with the Youth Unions had reached over 39,000 children and adults in Quang Tri Province with reinforced UXO awareness and safe behavior guidance. 2019 was the second year Quang Tri had no UXO accidents, a record since the war ended in 1975.

Project RENEW was established in 2001 as a joint effort between the government of Quang Tri Province and interested INGOs to “restore the environment and neutralize the effects of the war” – with the main focus on unexploded ordinance.