Conflict often leaves behind numerous legacies, be it famine, discrimination, authoritarian regimes or in some cases even unexploded military arsenal. The primary victims of these things conflict leaves behind are civilians, they are the most affected by conflict, in some countries around the world left-behind mines from wars ended long ago still injure and kill civilians, mostly children who cannot play freely without the fear of death or severe injuries. Founded in Thailand in 1982 by French Doctors as a response to land mine injuries sustained by Cambodian refugees Handicap International is a non-governmental foundation whose sole mission is to work alongside disabled and vulnerable populations in situations of poverty, conflict and disaster. The Foundation is one of 6 co-recipients of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for their campaign to ban landmines as well as the 2011 winner of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. The foundation works in all parts of the world although mainly concentrated in Africa and South Asia. Their headquarters are located in Lyon, France.
Their main area of focus is the rehabilitation of disabled people into society. In Liberia for example they have been present since 2000 to help integrate the people affected by the Liberian Civil War, which left 16% of the local population disabled. Their projects include production of prosthetic devices as well as physical therapy to help them regain some motor skill, furthermore they were also very active during the Ebola crisis which made it even harder for the disabled population to seek medical attention, working hand in hand with the WHO occupying a major part in the Country's healthcare system. However their main project for the country is Inclusive Education, teaching children and adults and training teachers to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in education, this program has been active since 2008 and is heavily funded by the French Agency for Development which can lead some people into believing that Handicap International is not as unbiased as they say and are still heavily influenced by the French Government.
In South Sudan, Handicap International has been active since 2006. Since the country's Independence in 2011 and the Conflict that broke out in 2013 millions died and the Country ranks among one of the lowest developed Nations on the globe. The conflict saw the Headquarters of the Foundation destroyed and they were forced to suspend their operations in the area. Handicap International has a multitude of projects in South Sudan, Emergency Response, Civic Inclusion, Victim assistance and Mental Health projects; all aimed to help include disabled people into society and educate populations so as to accept them with no stigma. These projects have helped thousands by providing urgent medical care and education. However as with most Foundations there is still some bias in their actions as their main donors are the European Union, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNMAS, OCHA, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and of course the French Agency for development.
The question some may ask now is does their external influences really matter? In some cases yes as they do hold a heavy hand in Education in most African Countries which may facilitate them to press into Society some Western ideals, on the other hand however their main mission has been the rehabilitation of disabled individuals through healthcare and education, helping millions around the World regain mobility and most importantly dignity, so to the question "Do they really help?" one may answer yes, yes they truly do, they are one of the main groups advocating the non-proliferation of landmines and other forms of "hidden" military equipment which if not uncovered scar entire regions for decades after Conflict has ended.