The building of national capacity is at the core of HALO’s ethos.
HALO seeks to maximise the use of its funding by deploying as many local deminers as possible. The number of expensive international staff is kept to a minimum, and competent and responsible national staff are promoted to replace them at the earliest opportunity. As an equal opportunities employer, HALO has men and women at all levels of the organisation from deminers to senior managers.
HALO has a policy of recruiting deminers directly from mined communities. This not only provides a regular and legitimate source of income for families which may be suffering from the effects of landmines, but also produces highly-motivated individuals who are clearing land directly for the benefit of their relatives and friends. HALO’s basic demining course, which typically runs for three weeks, is suitable even for those people who have never had a formal education. Thus, subsistence farmers in parts of the world often bypassed by other forms of humanitarian aid and government support can earn a decent salary for the first time in their lives.
HALO deminers who show potential are given the opportunity for promotion within the organisation. Training courses, combined with rigorous assessments, aim to develop candidates’ understanding of operational practices and managerial skills. In every country where HALO works, individuals who started their careers as deminers have gone on to become senior staff members, responsible for managing many hundreds of their compatriots.