Charity's work to aid land mine detection

Life-saving drones designed to detect land mines could soon be saving hundreds of lives thanks to help from a Burnley charity.

Friday, 21st October 2016, 1:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:35 pm
Operations director Mohammed Asjad, of Mayfair Developments, and County Coun. Terry Burns (s)
Operations director Mohammed Asjad, of Mayfair Developments, and County Coun. Terry Burns (s)

“Furniture for Education Worldwide” has been delivering care packages to impoverished schoolchildren around the world for eight years.However, during a recent visit to Cambodia a number of FEW trustees were made aware of the devastating impact vast minefield areas were still having in the country.With that in mind the charity decided to lend its support to a project, spearheaded by UCLan, aimed at identifying these mines using drones and small robotic vehicles.The equipment, at the request of the Cambodian military authorities, is currently being trialled out there and County Coun. Terry Burns, chairman of FEW, said: “This is a project which the charity could not overlook.“We are sending school equipment and supplies to rural areas of Cambodia to improve the lives of the children. Those same children are losing their lives or suffering life changing maiming almost on a daily basis. “We really hope the trials will signal a breakthrough in developing a speedy way of identifying mines. It is a massive problem and if our support helps to save just one life it will have been so worthwhile.”At the end of September the charity dispatched its 77th container of mainly classroom furniture and equipment to Tanzania. The following weeks saw container numbers 78 and 79 sent out to Cambodia and The Gambia with the next two scheduled for Pakistan in the coming weeks.FEW operate the charity out of Britannia Business Park, Burnley, a property owned by Mayfair Developments Limited.Terry said the firm’s continued help and support was invaluable to sustaining the charity’s work moving forward.Mayfair operations director Mohammed Asjad said: “A charity which strives to improve lives of impoverished children is something to be proud of and to be part of it is humbling.” FEW is holding its annual charity ball at the Dunkenhalgh on Saturday, November 12th.This is the charity’s main fund-raising event and Terry said: “We still have a few tables left if there are any companies out there that want a really great party night you cannot go wrong with this event besides having a great time you will be helping some of the most deprived children in the world.”He added: “I am proud what our trustees have accomplished, none of our trustees are paid for what they do, they do it for the sake of under privileged children around the world.“Furniture for Education Worldwide started in 2008 and it has been overwhelmed by the support it has received from the people and organisations in Burnley and beyond.”If anyone would like to donate raffle prizes or is interested in a table for the charity ball, call Terry on 07976611119.