|HDI Mine Action Spokesperson Mary Wilson singing
with students at Phonnsavan School, Laos
April 4, 2008 - Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Spokes-person for the Humpty Dumpty Institute
(HDI), will travel to Kansas City, Missouri April
14-16 for the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) International Food Aid
Conference. The conference will gather over
700 participants from over 25 countries for
discussions on food security in the developing
world. Mary will publicize HDI’s innovative
linkage of mine action programs to agricultural rehab-ilitation, educational and feeding
programs. HDI Chairman Connie Milstein says "Mary Wilson's infectious energy, sincerity and
deft use of cultural diplomacy make her one of the best foot soldiers in the global fight against landmines".
Miss Wilson will perform several songs at the Welcome Reception on Monday evening, April 14, 2008 at 6:00
p.m. at the Westin Crown Center Hotel. She will also share her thoughts about HDI's humanitarian projects in
Laos and Sri Lanka and speak about her recent visit to these countries on April 15 at 2:30 p.m. HDI received
the first ever USDA Food for Education grant for Laos to improve basic education and address unexploded
ordnance (UXO) as a barrier to school attendance. It is also the first initiative in Laos to explicitly link UXO
clearance with increased school attendance through school feeding. In Sri Lanka, HDI’s two-year $4 million
USDA Food for Progress project in the Jaffna Peninsula helps clear landmines on dairy farmland and
redevelop the dairy and livestock industry in northern Sri Lanka.
In her travels to Sri Lanka and Laos, Mary Wilson saw how HDI’s programs have resulted in more secure
smallholder farming through landmine clearance; the revitalization of the dairy sector; a safer environment for
kids by removing UXO around schools; greater enrollment and attendance at local schools; healthier children
and families; and improved literacy and educational achievement.
HDI is a New York-based Institute that forges innovative public-private partnerships to find creative solutions to
difficult humanitarian problems around the world. Currently, HDI’s mandate is to improve U.S.-U.N. relations, to
remove landmines and UXO around the world, and to help alleviate domestic and international hunger. To
learn more about HDI’s international programs, please visit www.thehdi.org.