This man was traumatized by seeing a friend killed by a landmine that he barely escaped. His family was displaced and living in crowded conditions, distraught by his PTSD and depression and his inability to make a living. The Polus Center and the FNC helped them to re-establish a small coffee farm by providing plants, fertilizer, and technical assistance, supported him to seek psychological services, and helped them to renovate and furnish their small home.
The Polus Center is working in partnership with ITF to improve livelihoods of coffee farmers disabled by landmine blasts through vocational training and small business development. Polus Center's vocational victim assistance rehabilitation program offers professional training in technical careers, provides opportunities for apprenticeships, and assists in the development of small businesses for selected beneficiaries. The program is designed to help both landmine survivors directly, by offering a pathway to employment, and also their families and communities by improving local economies.
Millions of people have been displaced by violence, landmines and IEDs, or have been caught in the midst of a half-century of civil conflict. The physical and emotional damage suffered by those who have survived explosions places a burden on themselves and their families, all of whom must spend the rest of their lives coping with the physical and emotional impact of their injuries. Hundreds of coffee farmers living in coffee communities in Cauca and Antioquia are in need of basic housing. Many hope to become self-sufficient by improving their coffee farms, identifying alternative sources of income, or enrolling in vocational training.