Ten years ago, six-year-old Deolinda Tchihnga from Angola, known to family and friends as "Minga," mistakenly handled an explosive that she believed to be a toy, blinding her and causing her right arm to be amputated. Minga is among thousands of other children at risk of encountering land mines and other explosives in 25,000 acres of land in Angola as a result of years of conflict.
Recently, Katten's Chairman Roger Furey and Structured Finance and Securitization partner Seth Messner partnered with MAG to provide funds to enhance Minga's education and helped her acquire an internship in MAG's risk education department, so that her voice and story can be heard and she can develop professional skills.
"Serving those who are most in need has been a hallmark of Katten since our firm's inception. When we saw the opportunity to help better the life of a young woman permanently impacted by the ravages of her surroundings and at the same time to support an organization dedicated to restoring safety and hope in communities, we jumped at the chance," Seth said.
Through Roger's, Seth's and other attorneys' support, and the support of donors throughout the United States, MAG welcomed Minga as the organization's first youth team member, and she has since provided 22 educational classes to over 400 people about the dangers of explosives and how communities can better protect themselves.
MAG profiled Minga in an article on International Youth Day, honoring her perseverance, resistance and dedication to helping communities like her own by raising awareness about the dangers of explosives and ensuring those communities are safe.
Read, "Meet the 16-year-old landmine survivor helping children stay safe in Angola," in its entirety.