Goto main content

1982 - 2020 : Innovation is part of HI's DNA

Explosive weapons Rehabilitation

On 24 September, the European Union Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid honoured Humanity & Inclusion (HI) with two awards. On that occasion, HI recounts its 38 years of innovation from 1982 to 2020. 

Xavier Depreytere tests the first drone

Drone testing during a mine clearance operation with partner Mobility Robotics | © J. Fardoulis / HI

1982 : Innovation is part of HI's DNA | Cambodia

HI is founded on the Thai-Cambodian border by a group of young French doctors to orthopaedically fit several thousand amputee victims of anti-personnel mines. It is the first humanitarian aid organisation to meet emergency orthopaedic needs.  

1982 : Appropriate technology | Orthopaedic fitting

 Innovative approach to developing appropriate technology
As Western methods are not adapted to the local context, HI develops appropriate, simple, and low-cost technologies, including emergency bamboo prostheses, leather, wood and tyre prostheses, and wooden wheelchairs, and trains local and international human resources.

1992 : Mine action

HI mounts a political campaign and calls for a total ban on anti-personnel mines - a first in the humanitarian sector
Born out of a sense of outrage at the lack of solutions to “repair” human lives destroyed by anti-personnel mines, HI decides to go a step further by mounting a political campaign with five other NGOs: the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). 
Mine action 

1992 : Humanitarian demining

 Another milestone in HI's commitment to innovation in the field of humanitarian assistance
The organisation launches its first mine clearance actions in Cambodia, driven by an innovative concept: humanitarian demining, the clearance of land for human use.

1999 : Humanitarian demining  | Global approach     

HI takes an innovative approach to mine action
The organisation jointly implements orthopaedic fitting, mine action, risk awareness, and victim assistance activities, building on its solid experience in the world’s most heavily contaminated countries. These activities can be implemented in emergency and development contexts by teams with complementary technical skills.

2005 : Appropriate technology | Emergency prostheses | Pakistan

Earthquake in Pakistan: first large-scale testing of emergency temporary prostheses
During emergencies amputations are often carried out under difficult conditions and require stump revision surgery. Under these circumstances, it is preferable to temporarily orthopaedically fit victims, who can immediately resume the physical activity essential to their recovery.

2016 : 3D | Rehabilitation

3D: rehabilitation at the forefront of innovation
A pilot study is implemented with several partners to produce prostheses and orthoses designed using 3D technology as a solution for physically and financially vulnerable people. The first prostheses are successfully produced in Togo and Madagascar. HI subsequently extends the practice.

2019 : 3D | Rehabilitation | Uganda

Testing 3D technology with displaced and refugee populations in Uganda
Within the framework of the AT2030 programme, HI launches a new 3D project to test the feasibility of expanding its digital production and supplying custom-made orthoses in three refugee camps. The long-term goal is to create digital production centres across the region to better supply custom-made prostheses and orthoses to displaced people and refugees in East Africa.   

2019 : 3D | Telerehabilitation | Madagascar | Haiti

A bold telerehabilitation project to promote accessible at-home care
HI explores new avenues through telerehabilitation. The therapist and patient communicate using mobile phones and the internet. The patient is sent instructions and videos to do rehabilitation exercises at home. Care assessment, instructions, and follow-up are provided remotely.

2019 : Demining | Drones

Drones to locate mines: a major step forward for humanitarian demining
HI and its partner Mobility Robotics unveil a solution to locate buried anti-personnel mines in certain environments using drones equipped with infrared cameras.   

2020 : Horizon Prize | Two awards recognise HI’s innovative spirit    

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prize for Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid, launched by the European Union, honours HI with two awards.
The organisation is recognised for its telerehabilitation project (TeReFA - Tele Rehabilitation For All) (Health and medical care category) and its drone mine clearance project, Odyssey2025 (Other humanitarian assistance category).
The prizes highlight HI's ability to innovate and provide practical and effective solutions in real-field conditions, conflicts, and disasters, and in developing countries.


Where your



Fatou Thiam




Help them

To go further

"It is really inspiring to see the kids I help go to school and become successful"
© A.Thapa / HI

"It is really inspiring to see the kids I help go to school and become successful"

Ambika Sharma has been working as a Prosthetist and Orthotist for more than 10 years. We recently sat down with Ambika to see what life is like as a P&O in Nepal.

Helping Milagros live life to the full
© J. M. Vargas / HI

Helping Milagros live life to the full

In Colombia, HI is supporting Venezuelan migrants like Milagros. Our teams are giving Milagros rehabilitation exercises to help her become more independent.
 Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups Explosive weapons

Increase of use of landmines driven by Russia, Myanmar and non-state armed groups

The Landmine Monitor 2022 reports a high number of casualties caused by landmines - including improvised mines and explosive remnants of war - for the seventh year in a row. The Monitor recorded 5,544 casualties in 2021. 75% of them were civilians. This high figure is mainly the result of increased armed conflicts and contamination with improvised mines since 2015. The use of landmines by the Russian and Myanmar armies, as well as by non-state armed groups in five countries, are the main factors of a sharp global increase of the use of these weapons in 2022.

States will gather in Geneva from November 21th to 25th for the 20th annual Mine Ban Treaty conference. As we celebrate the 25 years of the Ottawa Treaty, HI urges States to pressure parties to conflict to end the use of these barbaric weapons and to support the funding of victims assistance that is shrinking despite growing needs and high casualty rates in recent years.

Read the full report.