In 2013, a twenty-three-year-old Camilla applied to join The HALO Trust. She knew she wanted a job with a difference, that made a difference, but probably didn't quite realise the life-changing experience it would be.
Seven years later, HALO is delighted that Camilla remains a firm friend and supporter of our work and are grateful that she has used her successful career in the public eye to continue to support HALO and other humanitarian charities, including Indigo Volunteers and Choose Love/Help Refugees.
As she launches her memoir, 'Not The Type', we look back at some of Camilla's HALO moments and hope that her story inspires a new generation of young women to dare to do something different.
The Early Days
Camilla initially applied for the role of Programme Officer in Cambodia. After a month of basic training in Sri Lanka, she travelled out to join the programme at the HQ in Siem Reap. At this time, her work involved monitoring and evaluating data to show the impact of landmine clearance, writing reports for donors and travelling to often remote locations, capturing the stories of families living surrounded by minefields.
Training to Clear Landmines
As Camilla's time in HALO progressed, so did her interest in the operational side of our work—learning how to clear the landmines and explosives that threaten people's lives. The beginning of 2015 saw her join HALO's operations training course in Nagorno Karabakh, a remote but beautiful place that has been haunted by the presence of landmines for over two decades. Here she learnt how to safely locate and destroy landmines.
Many of the places where HALO works are very remote, so knowing how to keep our landrovers on the road is all part of the training. As well as clearing landmines manually using detectors, on some minefields we are able to use machines to assist. Here Camilla is photographed getting to grips with mechanical clearance with one of our Nagorno Karabakh teams.
HALO works in some of the most inhospitable and challenging environments in the world, helping communities recover after conflict. During in her time with HALO, Camilla worked in Afghanistan, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Cambodia.
Safe Steps for The World
Since leaving HALO, Camilla has continued to support our work. We were delighted when she joined us in 2018, alongside Jamie Jewitt, for our very first sponsored walk, raising money to protect families in Syria who live surrounded by the explosive debris of war. The following year, Camilla and Jamie were back, taking on our hike across Salisbury Plain.
What Camilla Did Next
Last year, Camilla made an emotional return to HALO's programme in Cambodia for the ITV4 Documentary 'What Camilla Did Next." She explains how demining was her first love, the most important thing in her life during those years. During the trip, Camilla visited a minefield, donning the protective body armour and visor that used to be part of her everyday routine. She also met with local families who have suffered first-hand the devastating impact of landmines.
“I would just like people to know the devastation landmines still cause, and the devastating reality for people. Because once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. And once you realise how terrifying it is, and how unfair, you would want that to change.”
Not The Type
Want to learn more about Camilla's adventures at HALO and beyond?
Her autobiography is available to purchase on Amazon. If you are making a purchase, please consider using Amazon Smile and selecting The HALO Trust as your charity. Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of the net purchase price to the charity you select.