A Mine Free World Assistance Programs (AMFW) provides educational, occupational and vocational support to landmine survivors and their families. Currently, our target country is Cambodia - a country ravaged with over 5,000,000 landmines and home to over 40,000 identified landmine survivors.
Board of Directors
Founder / President
Maria Almudevar - van Santen was working with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland when she heard about a little Cambodian girl who had recently lost her leg when she stepped on a landmine while feeding the family's chickens.
Touched by the little girl's courage, Maria was inspired to write a children's story titled Vanna's Dance. With the support of the Canadian Landmine Foundation and the Waterloo District Catholic School Board, the story was turned into a children's book. All profits from the sales of Vanna's Dance are donated to landmine survivor assistance. Wanting to do more, Maria founded A Mine Free World to continue and build on these efforts.
In 2005 she was nominated for her work with Vanna's Dance for the KW (Kitchener -Waterloo) Oktoberfest Woman of the Year award. In 2006, she was nominated for the KW Arts Award in the Literary Category.
Executive Director / Project Co-ordinator
Lisa McCoy is a Rotarian from Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada. She worked 23 years in the Public Library field. After having extensively traveled around the world, she decided to give worth and meaning to her travels by volunteering her efforts in aid of those less fortunate than herself; particularly the children and landmine survivors of Cambodia and the refugees of Burma. Lisa participated in disaster relief efforts in the aftermaths of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, Cyclone Nargis on the Thai-Burma border and Typhoon Ketsana in Cambodia.
She is the Executive Director / Project Co-ordinator of the Canadian not-for-profit organization "A Mine Free World". She is also the Field Co-ordinator and Founder of the Gravenhurst Rotary Club's bicycle distribution program for children in Cambodia - "Rotary Wheels For Learning". Lisa is the recipient of many awards including: District Governor Special Recognition Award by the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst, the Rotary Paul Harris award, Muskoka YWCA Women of Distinction - Exceptional Achievements Award, a Muskoka Awards Humanitarian award, and Citation For Meritorious Service Award from the Rotary Foundation at the 7010 Rotary District Conference.
Lisa met Maria van Santen in 2006 and in 2009 accepted the position of Executive Director / Project Co-ordinator with AMFW. Since then they have combined their passion to give "Hope and A Chance" to the landmine-affected and impoverished families of Cambodia.
Pauline Johns, Australia was born in New Zealand and has lived in Bowral NSW Australia for the past 30 years.
Having spent many years traveling in Europe, 6 years ago she began to explore south-east Asia. She first travelled to Cambodia in 2006 to visit the Angkor Temples. For some reason she connected with the country and returned several times over the next few years, staying one month each time to volunteer at a school.
Wanting more involvement she knew something would find her. Her two children were now married with a child each of their own and so she found herself with a freedom that would allow her to work to assist the people in a country that has suffered so much.
Meeting and working with Lisa McCoy on her projects further opened her heart to Cambodia. Besides assisting Lisa with her work, Pauline also took on projects in the remote Takeo Villages building wells, small schools and obtaining medical treatment for the many who have no means to travel to clinics.
Director of Accounting
Stephanie Breed joined the 'online' team in June 2011 after receiving a call to 'help/fix' the website for "A Mine Free World", responsible for updating our information/activities online and 'donates' the fees associated with the domain for hosting and domain renewal.
"I was only tooo happy to come to the aid of A Mine Free World knowing that a functional website can only increase the visiblity of the AWESOME support that the staff and volunteers provide to the landmine survivors and their families."