“I wanted to work for HALO, not just because of the salary, but so that we can leave our fields free from mines so people can live safely. It is good for women to do this job—to show that we are competent. Men see that what we do is hard and dangerous and say that we are strong.”


Constantina agrees: “I was very happy to hear that women are doing this work. They are not just women, they are men at the same time.”

The minefields where Noloti works are remote so she must live in a tented camp with the other women for three weeks at a time but the sense of community is strong.

“I like living with the women, it is another new experience for me. There are a lot of single mothers amongst the women in the camp. It means we can understand each other.”


She talks to her boys about her work, that it can be dangerous but she is no longer afraid. “When I found my first landmine I was afraid but I was ready because we had done many practice simulations in training. I said to myself, this is why I came here. We were at Cuito Cuanavale (one of the most dangerous minefields in the world) but I felt well prepared. It was very satisfying because we were finding so many landmines, we were making a difference.”

When discussions turn to the future, Noloti describes how she would like to keep working for HALO. “I was very keen to become a paramedic deminer because it takes courage and just last week I passed my training! I want to save my salary to buy a house for my family.”

Her sisters are equally ambitious and are continuing with their education thanks to Noloti’s support. Severina dreams of becoming a policewoman, whilst Bibiana wants to be a lawyer: “I want to be able to defend people and stop them from being treated wrongly.”

Before Nolotii leaves to collect Adriano and Feliciano from their lessons she reflects on her experience:

“This experience, clearing Angola’s landmines, is important because one day it will be a story to tell my children and grandchildren. I would say to other women—do not be afraid to come and join us, be curious, be strong.”

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