Learning about landmine safety, Afghanistan

Afghanistan. A boy at the edge of a minefield (marked by all the flags and white stones around him) prepares to fly his kite on a hillside above Kabul. Credit: Ash Sweeting


The giant Deew, an Afghan genie, holds Chuchi

The giant Deew, an Afghan genie, gives Chuchi advice

ChucheQhalin, The Story of the Little Carpet Boy, tells the story of an old woman who lost her only grandson in a landmine accident. Sad and lonely, she weaves herself a new child out of carpet, who magically comes to life. Chuchi is a lovable child, but headstrong, and the old woman lives in fear that her new grandson will ignore her warnings about the landmines that lie hidden and scattered in their corner of Afghanistan.

No Strings’ first programme, ChucheQhalin was dubbed into Dari and Pashtu in 2005 in Kabul, and has now been seen by hundreds of thousands of Afghan children in a country where millions of landmines threaten their safety.

Through our supporters, we’ve been able to donate five mobile cinema motorbikes to our Afghan partner, OMAR (the Organisation for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation). The eRanger sidecars are equipped with massive screens, a projector, generator, and sound equipment. They can show the film inside or outside, powered by an agricultural bike capable of navigating the roughest of roads.




Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 16.41.29BBC Newsround: Children’s TV reporter Sonali visits No Strings’ work in Afghanistan. Watch video




Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 10.16.59Actor Hugo Speer: No Strings patron visits Afghanistan with our first eRanger cinema bikes. Read interview




Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 16.29.50Landmine Survivors: Two children injured by land mines in Afghanistan tell their stories. Meet Masaud and Rhoksar





Afghanistan is undoubtedly one of the most heavily-mined countries in the world, with millions ready to explode as soon as they are knocked or trodden on. Children are particularly vulnerable in a number of ways.

If they can’t read, because they’re too young or haven’t been able to go to school, written warning signs about the presence of mines are useless.

Landmines have a more catastrophic effect on children, whose smaller bodies succumb more readily to the injuries they inflict.

Children who manage to survive explosions are likely to be more seriously injured than adults, and often permanently disabled. Sadly, of the injured children who survive, few will receive prosthetic limbs that properly keep up with their growth.

Landmines have been used indiscriminately in Afghanistan since the arrival of the Soviet forces in 1979. Today, while it’s impossible to know the exact figure, it’s acknowledged that several million mines and unexploded cluster bombs lie scattered throughout the country.