North Mianus students are CHAMPS

Help keep people safe from landmines by raising money to train detection dogs at a dog walk on Sunday, March 30, from 9 a.m. to noon at Greenwich Point.

Fifth grade students from North Mianus Elementary in Greenwich have organized the walk to raise  funds and build awareness for the The Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS). CHAMPS is a student-led program of The Marshall Legacy Institute, a non-profit, international organization.

The program’s goal is to protect people in mine-affected countries by training detection dogs to sniff out landmines for safe removal. Landmines are an extremely dangerous threat that take roughly one victim every 40 minutes. One thousand people are involved in landmine accidents every month, and most victims are killed.

North Mianus students were motivated to help after reading articles about innocent children who were injured or even killed due to landmines.

Their fund-raising work over the past two years successfully funded Hawk, a mine detection dog currently serving in Iraq. The cost of acquiring, training, and delivering a certified mine detection dog to a contaminated country is approximately $20,000.

This is the third year that North Mianus students have organized a dog walk to raise money for CHAMPS. This year, North Mianus Elementary has teamed up with the International School at Dundee to host the walk. Community members are encouraged to attend the event, rain or shine, and stroll around the two-mile trail while learning facts about landmines and mine detection dogs. There will also be games for children.

There is a suggested donation of $10. If you’re unable to attend the walk but would like to support CHAMPS, checks made out to the Marshall Legacy Institute or cash can be delivered to North Mianus School.

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