The HALO Trust

The HALO Trust clears landmines and unexploded ordnance from war-torn communities so that some of the world's most vulnerable people can plant their crops, rebuild their homes and raise their families in safety. HALO is the world's oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organization. Our mission, "Getting mines out of the ground, now," has guided our humanitarian operations around the globe since 1988. We foster local management, providing employment in areas with little opportunity.
Apr 10, 2015

International Mine Action Day: More than Mines

Children on safe ground in Cambodia.
Children on safe ground in Cambodia.

April 4th marked the 10th International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

The 2015 theme 'More than Mines' takes into account the types of explosive threats faced by war-torn communities and members and brings attention to the fact that disposing of explosive hazards is only one part of mine action work.

Landmines are not the only explosive hazards that pose a danger to civilians living in conflict and post-conflict settings; unexploded bombs, grenades, unsecured weapons and ammunition and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) also kill, injure and block access to healthcare, education and development. 

Last year in Cambodia, we located and destroyed 6,514 explosive remants of war (along with 5,325 landmines) and were called out over 2,000 times to attend to deadly explosives found by the community. These items are especially dangerous to children because of their natural curiousity they collect the explosives and play with them.

In February 2014, three children were killed when they tampered with an unexploded 60-millimetre rocket that they found near their village in Kampong Chhnang province while herding cattle.

Thank you for your generous support that helps us remove 'More than Mines' in Cambodia to prevent these deadly accidents. 

Jan 9, 2015

An Orphanage Next to a Minefield is Cleared

Children at an orphanage bordered by a minefield
Children at an orphanage bordered by a minefield

Thank you to our generous donors who helped remove landmines from the villages of Cambodia in 2014. We are now halfway to our project goal on GlobalGiving and every donation counts.

Last year HALO found and destroyed over 4,750 landmines in Cambodia, along with over 6,120 other explosive remnants of war (ERW). 275 minefields were cleared resulting in over 2,730 acres of land being returned to the rural poor for homes, farming, roads and schools. In the village of Banteay Ti Muoy, we have cleared 33 minefields between 2008 and 2014.

Here’s one story behind the statistics.

The David Center orphanage in Odtar Meanchey Province provides shelter, food and accommodation for 63 children. However, the agricultural land surrounding it is mined. Almost one quarter (22%) of mine/ERW casualties in Cambodia in 2014 were children. Their natural curiosity often leads them to pick up and play with dangerous items.

The orphanage manager, Mr. Bunna, said they were not aware of the danger that existed. Once HALO explained the risks Mr. Bunna told the children not to enter the hazardous area but even so they would sometimes sneak out and play there. During one such occasion, the children saw an item of UXO but fortunately left it alone and reported it to him. 

A HALO Mine Risk Education (MRE) team has since visited the children to make sure they are fully aware of the dangers and stay off the land. HALO began clearance in July and over 11 landmines have since been found and destroyed. The clearance of this land will not only ensure the children’s safety and provide a greater area for them to play; it will allow Mr. Bunna to use the land for cultivation and grazing to better support the children.

Thanks again to all our donors and supporters worldwide who make our work possible.

We wish you a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Oct 15, 2014

Thank you for turning minefields into farmland.

Farmer ploughs cleared ground for the first time.
Farmer ploughs cleared ground for the first time.

In Banteay Ti Muoy, and the many other mine-impacted villages in Northwest Cambodia, not only are we saving lives but we are clearing minefields for families desperate for additional farmland.

In the village of Banteay Ti Muoy we currently have two teams working to clear one minefield that the local authorities prioritized to provide safe agriculture land for four families. In addition, the clearance will indirectly benefit 413 families who often transit through this area to access their rice paddies nearby. 

In another vulnerable, rural community, Thlok village, in Northwest Cambodia, Mr. Sok lives with his wife, their three children and one grandchild. They moved up north in 2006 as they heard there was free land available. They did not know that the land would be mined.

On their small piece of land they grew cassava and some other vegetables but the safe area was too small to grow enough to feed their family. Once his daughter and her husband realized they had walked into the minefield and had to call for help to come and guide them safely away from the area. Very luckily they both managed to escape without causing any mines to detonate.

Now that the family's land has been cleared by HALO, Mr. Sok has extended his cassava cultivation. They can plough their land safely and produce enough crops to sell in order to support the family. 

Thank you for helping to make this possible. Together we can make landmines history. 

Sok
Sok's grandchild plays amongst the new cassava.

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