Charity formed to fill gap in battle against landmines: Better, faster, safer detection and removal
LONDON, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Sir Bobby Charlton, the celebrated Manchester United football legend, announced today the establishment of a registered charity to pursue a cause for which he has served as a vocal spokesman since 2005. Charlton witnessed firsthand the impact of landmines on the lives of children in Bosnia and Cambodia during his travels and vowed to make a difference.
“To clear the 110 million active landmines in place using current technologies would cost an estimated USD30 billion and take more than 1,000 years,” said Charlton. “So many wonderful charities exist to oversee the extraction of these gruesome devices, but it was clear a better way was needed to increase the speed, efficacy and safety of this process, and my vision for Find A Better Way was born.”
More than 65 countries across the globe are affected by landmines or explosive remnants of war. At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly 80 percent of landmine victims were military personnel. Today, 90 percent of landmine victims are civilians. Mines laid during World War II continue to kill and maim civilians.
Metal detectors are typically used to locate metal components in mines but are unable to distinguish these from other metal in the ground. Charlton enlisted the support of several organisations with relevant technical expertise, which now form Find A Better Way’s founding consortium:
- The University of Manchester, a world-leading centre for research into sonar and related technology
- Lancaster University, one of the UK’s top 10 universities with a commitment to addressing key societal issues through regional, national and international research partnerships
- Rapiscan Systems, provider of the security scanning systems used in most of the world’s airports
- Mines Advisory Group, one of the leading mine clearance organizations with global frontline experience and co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize
“Our research has a very practical focus, based on advice from mine clearance experts about what would make the biggest difference in the field,” added Charlton.
With the support of leading firms from the risk management community, the charity’s mission to mitigate the risk of landmines and additional explosive remnants of war has the foundation for success.
“The global insurance and risk management industry is coming together in an unprecedented fashion to support the mission of Find A Better Way,” said Steve McGill, chairman and chief executive officer, Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon Corporation (NYSE: AON). “I applaud the efforts of the leading firms in our industry to embrace Find A Better Way and I encourage others to follow.”
For more information on Find A Better Way, visit www.findabetterway.org.uk. Donations to support the objectives of Find A Better Way may be accepted at https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/findabetterway.
About Find A Better Way
Find A Better Way is a charity founded by Sir Bobby Charlton to develop new technology to accelerate the detection and removal of landmines globally. The charity is also committed to raising awareness of the risk of landmines and improving access to health services for victims. For more information on Find A Better Way, visit www.findabetterway.org.uk.
SOURCE Find A Better Way