Developing a Project in Your Community
The NMV Model
The No More Victims model empowers local communities and groups to provide medical assistance to children injured by US military operations abroad. Our strategy can be summed in few words: if you object to war and militarism, make the injustice visible by helping the victims and telling the story.
This project guide provides the basics about how the projects work. We have successfully completed more than a dozen medical relief projects, evacuating injured children and an accompanying parent from active war zones. These demonstration projects proved the feasibility and effectiveness of the NMV model.
NMV will consult with your community at every critical step along the way, providing guidance, logistical support and contacts to help realize your project. These are independent, grassroots projects, and we urge you to develop your own ideas and engage your own creativity as we work together to restrain militarism and aggression.
Medical Relief Projects
Here, in brief, is what you need consider as you put together a core group of activists and commit to creating a project. We will work with you every step of the way. The first task is research to identify injured survivors who need medical attention. In the course of this research, you will learn a lot about current US military operations and their impact on civilian populations. You may already familiar with some of this information. But your project will empower you to apply what you know and to helping victims. You will be positioned to effectively challenge the US policymakers who authorize the use of forces against people living thousands of miles from American shores. You will have a model of proven effectiveness and a plan of action that empowers you to act on your knowledge through a real world exercise of conscience.
NMV has contacts who can help identify victims, and we’ve provided medical reports in most cases. However, researching the subject and identifying the victims is an important part of the process. Your involvement and creativity in this aspect of the work will benefit the project in many ways.
Setting Up Your Project
Here are some basic steps:
Form a core group of four to eight people to take primary responsibility for the project (you’ll find that dozens of people will participate and provide help along the way, but a core group of fully committed people is vital to ensuring that necessary tasks get done in a timely manner). Assign roles based on skills and interests:
Someone who is interested in the exploring the subjects of war and aggression, drone warfare, and civilian harm in depth should take the lead in this task. Ideally all participants will assist this person. Teach-ins can be organized to help educate a broader community about what you discover. They will also create media messaging opportunities early on, and attract the attention of like-minded people in your community.
This person takes lead responsibility for relaying medical reports to doctors and facilities and securing pro bono medical treatment. We suggest that the group choose a participant who has ties with the local medical community. He or she person will receive medical reports, send them to local medical contacts for assessment, and report the findings of local doctors to the rest of the core group. This person will be the key contact for setting up pro bono medical treatment at a local facility. No More Victims has helped many communities set up pro bono treatment, and will consult with you whenever you need us.
Events / Fundraising:
This person takes the lead in organizing events and fundraising for the project. He or she will be the point person for organizing the welcome at the airport and planning community outreach events during the child’s stay. Children and parents have toured local schools, and American children have learned about the civilian impacts of US militarism through the eyes of its victims. Children and parents have met with US senators and representatives, mayors and city council members, made presentations to peace and justice groups in the local community, and participated in reconciliation sessions with American soldiers whose experiences led them to oppose America’s militaristic policies. A creative person with broad contacts in the community would be well positioned to assume this role.
There were no consular services in Iraq until 2010, and we brought injured Iraqi children and an accompanying parent to Jordan to submit visa applications at the US embassy in Amman. While this greatly complicated the process and drove costs up, it also generated opportunities for creative messaging and expressions of solidarity from the broader community. Consular services are available in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan. This key point person will make arrangements for air travel, transportation, interpreters, scheduling, and related issues, working closely with the person in charge of housing and accommodations. Reliability and attention to detail are paramount. No More Victims will provide consultation and assistance with contacts and logistical support at every stage based on our more than ten years of experience putting these elements together. We have a process in place for obtaining visas that has never failed.
Housing / Accommodations:
This person would take the lead in making housing arrangements for the child and parent. Most of the children we’ve brought have stayed at Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH) free of charge. Others have stayed with host families, but treatment periods can last from three months to a year depending on the child’s injuries. Ronald McDonald Houses are usually close to treatment facilities and provide a safe and supportive environment as well as a measure of independence for the child and parent. It is a temporary “place of their own” and, in our experience, the best option when available.
A lead person should be assigned to work with NMV on local and national media. This person may also act as the spokesperson for the local project. Our projects have generated hundreds of millions of media impressions. We will work with you to create effective media outreach materials for your project and help your group secure coverage by both national and local media outlets.
This project guide is by no means comprehensive, but it provides a starting point. Once your core group is in place, we will work closely with you to answer remaining questions and assist your community through every stage of the process.