The United Nations
Clearing landmines and explosives is painstaking work that requires dedication and a complete team effort. Often our field staff live together in remote camps for weeks at a time, backed up by the support teams that keep the HALO family running—from mechanics to data experts, finance managers and logisticians. Bonds are formed from experiences shared, a determination to get the job done and build a better future, that turn into life-long friendships.
Sophea is the Fleet Manager for HALO Cambodia and has been working for HALO since 2002. Samet comes from Banteay Meanchey and has been with HALO since 1993. He is the Workshop Manager, supporting Sophea at our base in Siem Reap.
They have known each other for 18 years, becoming good friends after Samet transferred to work in Siem Reap.
Sophea on Samet...
“I like Samet because when people in the team make a joke about him he never gets angry and he enjoys it. He laughs when the cook says he loves going home because that is where his energy comes from. Samet works very hard, respects his work and he understands me. Sometimes he talks about problems that he has and I help with solutions. I am happy to help because I know it is important to support him. Samet never complains when I need him to travel and do challenging work and this shows that he is a flexible man. I am always happy to encourage him and show him the best way.”
Samet on Sophea...
"Before I moved to Siem Reap, I communicated with Sophea only about work and most of the time we talked on the phone as normal colleagues and never thought that we would become close friends. She is a clever person, is always proactive and never leaves the problem behind. When I was working at our Thmar Pork location and I had problems, Sophea was always happy to help me and made me feel comfortable to talk. We organise small trips with our team for dinner to make the team’s relationship closer and make everyone feel relaxed after a hard working day. We became close friends maybe because we are working for the same goal and that is to improve our work and make sure that the things we are responsible for are running well.”
"A friend who carries your soul with you is not the same as a traveller."
In Somaliland, Ahmed Adan Gedi, Adan Ahmed Ali and Muse Abdilahi Hirsi are part of the HALO team working to clear the minefields along the Somaliland – Ethiopian border. After a long day in the field, they enjoy relaxing together by playing a game of Somali chess. When asked about friendship, our Somaliand team told us the old Somali proverb: "Saaxhiibka kula sida maffada iyo miya la sima qof socoto ah" which is translated as: "A friend who carries your soul with you is not the same as a traveller."
“I love my job because I can help my family. I have new friends and they are now best friends. I have new experiences, I have learned lessons and the most important thing is I can help my country.”
Malaythong Khodsisa is 22 years old and joined HALO Laos in 2017. Today she is the programme’s Training Officer and is proud that the work of herself and her friends is preventing people being hurt by the explosives left behind as a legacy of the Vietnam War.
On International Friendship Day, the HALO family would like to thank all our friends across the globe who support our work and stand with us to create a safer world.