Deolinda “Minga” Tchihnga was only six years old when she picked up what she thought was a toy in her small village in Angola. It exploded, blinding her and resulting in the amputation of her right arm. Now, 10 years later, Minga will be the first youth team member of Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a UK and US based group that removes landmines and unexploded ordinance in places affected by conflict. She will be providing Mine Risk Education (MRE) to children who, like her, are at risk of death or injury due to where they live.
Back in 2013, longtime pro bono legal counsel to MAG America, Steve Solow, proposed setting up a fund for Minga’s education.. "Seeing Minga’s story, captured in film by MAG, raised a question: how can we ensure that a person whose story is being featured to help support MAG’s work, receive the support she needs to move forward in her own life? MAG’s primary mission means that it cannot help every person impacted by conflict. But under the circumstances, with the help of others, we established a fund to help support Minga’s unique educational needs over the past seven years.”
“MAG considers me a human being,” Minga said when asked about her internship. “I have learned a lot, and am continuing to learn. [MAG] made me feel important in our community, working with other colleagues as an equal.”
Read more about Minga’s story, including her work at MAG and Steve’s support (along with his former colleagues and private donors) here. MAG has created a film about Minga’s story and she will also be featured in Assembly, Malala Yousafsai’s digital newsletter and publication, here.
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