Vision Land-Mine removal from $1000 a mine to $8?
After Princess Diana passed a group of Influencers came together to change the cost of charity and rid the world of land mines. This was before streaming and drones! so it required blimps and ground penetrating radar systems.
The Founding vision of Mike Kendrick was embraced by patrons of Mineseeker were Nelson Mandela, his wife Grace Rachel, Queen Noor, Sir Richard Branson, John Paul de Joria and Brad Pitt.. Executive Director was Charlie Stuart Gay Going to Mozambique and Africa changed their lives for ever. in ways they did not anticipate.
Mozambique is a country in southeast Africa a little larger than Texas whose economy has been ravaged by years of AIDS and civil war. It has a population of about 19 million, who mostly survive on small-scale farming, but almost 90 percent of Mozambique's arable land is still uncultivated. That is because Mozambique also has about one million unexploded landmines scattered silently and lethally around the country.
Landmines are the deadly remnants of civil war and it is estimated that there are more than 100 million lying just beneath the surface of our planet worldwide. They are not designed to kill, necessarily, but to blow off the legs of its victims, and Mozambique's population is rife with scarred and twisted stumps.
In many African countries, landmines have a devastating domino effect on their struggling economies. Victims of landmines are rendered incapable of self-support and the terror of unexploded mines renders the rest of the population unwilling to cultivate perfectly farmable land. Economic and social progress is paralyzed.
Into this breach of stagnation has stepped a group of innovative and passionate advocates called the Mineseekers, founded by Michael Kendrick. Their project: The Sole of Africa. Headed by patrons Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, Queen Noor of Jordan, British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and Malibu residents John Paul DeJoria and Brad Pitt, the Mineseeker Foundation aims to return farmland to the citizens of Mozambique and encourage economic growth and sustainability.
"Landmines kill or maim somebody every 19 minutes," said Charlie Gay, executive director of the Mineseeker Foundation. "These countries are in peril. We want to empower these citizens to reclaim their land without fear and look forward to a future of purpose and dignity."
Until recently, it would cost agencies up to $1,000 to remove or disable a single landmine in a slow, inefficient process that would require 600 years to eliminate them completely from the world. Mineseekers has developed a breakthrough technology that can detect the positions of mines by using ground-penetrating radar, mounted on the stable platform of an airship, in the form of a blimp, which scans the ground at more than 100 yards per second.
"Just as important as finding landmines is finding land where there aren't any mines," Gay said.
DeJoria, founder of the hugely successful John Paul Mitchell Systems hair care products, has plunged wholeheartedly into the rescue of Mozambique with Mineseekers.
"I worked with the Rotary Club of South Africa to go in and fit people there with prostheses," DeJoria said. "Suddenly, people who had been reduced to begging have a future. It's amazing!"
DeJoria is a firm believer that the blessings of his rags-to-riches career obligate him to give generously of his time and resources.
"Success without charity is failure," he said.
"Using the radar-mounted blimp, we can map fields that people won't step foot in for fear of landmines," DeJoria explained. "Not only does this save villages from having to care for another generation of legless and armless people, we've recovered land for them that will provide food and commerce."
With the new technology, DeJoria added, the cost of removing landmines drops down to about three dollars apiece.