What is the Mines Awareness Trust?
When was MAT formed?
The Mines Awareness Trust LBG (MAT) is a charitable organisation that endeavours to save the lives and limbs of ordinary people from the unexploded debris of war. The Mines Awareness Trust is registered with the Association of Guernsey Charities. Ben Remfrey formed the Trust in May 1999 as a direct response to the war in Kosovo. He witnessed the terrible casualties suffered by ordinary people, who were returning to their homes after the conflict had ended; and realised that with the right education they could go about rebuilding their lives without the threat of being maimed or killed. He therefore decided to return to Kosovo and single-handed drove a Land Rover across Europe to work with the high-risk groups he had encountered in the west of the country. When Ben arrived there were 20 to 30 casualties every month in the region and these were mainly children. Six months later the number was reduced to near zero where it stayed.
What is MAT’s mission?
MAT endeavours to save lives, limbs and livelihoods through education, information and positive action in environments contaminated with the explosive remnants of war.
What does MAT believe?
MAT believes that landmines are a humanitarian concern and should be addressed using the principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity.
MAT believes that educating people about the dangers of landmines and unexploded ordnance is the most rapid and cost effective means of saving lives.
MAT believes that effective Mine Action reduces the dependence on aid of people affected by conflict, by ensuring the safety of their land and livelihoods.
MAT believes a local capacity should be built and developed from the outset.
What is Humanitarian Mine Action?
Mine action is more than simply removing these explosive items from the ground; it is concerned with recreating an environment in which people can live safely, where economic and social development can occur and survivors can be fully integrated into their societies. MAT’s ethos is therefore to work from the people to the landmines or unexploded ordnance, an approach that MAT pioneered.
Who are the MAT Trustees?
The Patron is His Excellency The Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, Vice Admiral Sir Fabian Malbon, KBE.
Mr Ben Remfrey
Mr Garry Falla