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"We walk with other children from our village. When we get to the minefield we walk in single file. It's scary to walk through the minefield. As we pass through we are afraid because if we walk off the path we could get hurt. We warn each other to stay on the path. I know of one pupil who had an accident a few years ago, a boy called Tavadzo, who was badly hurt when I was in the fourth form." Yellow Kamfundza, age 12.


HALO began work to clear the minefield around Chivere village in 2016, employing a team of 112 Zimbabwean deminers. Over the past 18 months they have worked tirelessly, clearing 276,063 square metres of land (that’s over 68 full-sized football pitches) and destroying 11,546 mines. For the villagers, it has been a relief to see the deminers at work, making the land safe.

"We all tell each other to be careful of the landmines. We walk together in groups and make sure the youngest kids don't walk off the track. Sometimes we have to wait on the track when the deminers are carrying out demolitions. It's exciting to hear the bangs when the mines are being destroyed." Damson Shimakon, age 10.


Romeo and his wife, Bibai, have five children, two of whom are of school-age and are currently enrolled at Ganganyama Primary. The family has just established a new homestead next to HALO-cleared land. Before clearance Bibai says that the children had to take a major detour in order to cross through the minefield on a relatively safe track. Now, following demining, their walk to school has been cut from two hours to 45 minutes.


"The kids used to come home from school exhausted, but now they come home with smiles on their faces! We are also happy that we know they will come home safe each day. We all feel safer now, and we trust the deminers who are doing a great job." Bibai Titus.


"We would both like to thank HALO's deminers for a job well done. It is a huge relief to see the deminers here. Can you imagine–we have kids as young as four years old who walk up to ten kilometres from home, and then have to cross a minefield to get to their classrooms. It's crazy, and we are very pleased that soon life here will be safer for everyone." Mososa Moshunt (left), teacher at Ganganyama Primary School.


Today, Yellow, Damson and their friends at Ganganyama School walk to school with smiles on their faces and their teachers no longer fear they will lose another child to the minefield.

However, there is still much work to be done. Chivere is just one of many villages that are affected by mines along the northern border of Zimbabwe. Once clearance is completed in Chivere, HALO’s deminers will move down the mine lines to the east.

The scale of the job is immense: 209km of minefield frontage remains to be cleared, with an estimated 5,500 mines laid along every single kilometre. Support is needed from donors, large and small, so that all of Zimbabwe’s children can walk to school in safety.