The late Princess of Wales made a deep commitment to support Landmine Survivors Network. She embraced our approach of survivors helping survivors.
Princess Diana contributed greatly to the global movement to ban landmines through her courageous work reaching out to mine victims in mine-affected countries around the world. She was introduced to Landmine Survivors Network in June 1997, when she delivered the Keynote Address at a conference co-hosted by LSN and the Mines Advisory Group at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
"I am struck by her courage and determination to reach out to the families who struggle daily to overcome the terrible effects of landmines... Not everyone understands what it takes to overcome these traumatic injuries, but the Princess has shown remarkable compassion and understanding that mines not only kill and rip limbs off soldiers and innocent civilians, they destroy entire families and communities."
In August 1997, Princess Diana joined Landmine Survivors Network in Bosnia. Her trip with LSN did a spectacular job of drawing attention to the plight of landmine victims at a crucial juncture in the debate on a global landmine ban. Her itinerary included private visits to the homes of landmine victims and meetings with local disability groups and rehabilitation specialists.
Tragically, this was the last working week of her life. Landmine Survivors Network associates worldwide will not benefit from her compassion and unique understanding that survivors helping survivors restores dignity and strengthens each individual's will to survive.
The victims I met and their senselessly inflicted injuries have stiffened my resolve to ensure that their needs for care and support are not overlooked...
A Photo Album from Princess Diana's trip to Bosnia in 1997 is available in our Feature Stories area.
Diana helped make the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines possible. She brought landmines into living rooms across the globe. Wherever she went, cameras followed. And she was determined to use her celebrity to draw attention to the devastation caused by landmines, first in Angola, then in Bosnia. It is even possible that without her help the Nobel Peace Prize would not have been awarded to those of us who have worked together on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
"I could not help but be intensely moved by the needless and senseless injuries of the vitims I met and, no less so, by the sensitive care and support they receive from their families. You should be justifiably proud of the wonderful work you are doing to bring hope and a sense of personal values to those who have suffered so much at the hands of these terrible weapons."
It was remarkable to watch her in action. Over and over, she reached out emotionally and physically to the Bosnians in need of comfort. And she listened for hours to the gut-wrenching stories of families struggling to survive the torture inflicted by landmines. All of us working to help war victims should learn from the Princess' example: listening to survivors is key.
In pursuit of a living memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, LSN calls on all governments to aim to provide new arms and legs for all mine victims by the year 2010. Full rehabilitation will also require follow-up care, peer support, vocational training, micro-enterprise, and other employment projects for the disabled. Yes, helping the estimated 300,000 landmine survivors worldwide will require a significant commitment of resources. The great news is that we can do it. Let us all honor the Princess by making this dream, like the important Treaty which was signed in Ottawa, become reality.
There are four quicktime movies of Princess Diana available for downloading. If you have a slow internet connection, your may prefer to download the smaller files.
Diana in Bosnia - Walking with survivors (Quicktime, 3.2 Megabytes)
Diana in Bosnia Montage - Clips from other movies (Quicktime, 4.0 Megabytes)
LSN Volleyball Two - With Princess Diana (Quicktime, 3.3 Megabytes)
LSN Volleyball Three - With Princess Diana (Quicktime, 1.6 Megabytes)
QuickTime is Apple's complete technology for handling video, sound, animation, graphics, text, music, and even 360-degree virtual reality (VR) scenes. If you have trouble viewing these movies, you may need to download a free copy of Quicktime movie player from Apple.
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