Mr Mafunga had only been teaching in Musanzikwa village in Zimbabwe for three months when he lost his right leg to a landmine. The minefield around the village changed his life. He’s determined to protect his pupils. So is The HALO Trust.
To supplement his teacher’s salary Mr Mafunga kept cows. One weekend in 2011 the cows wandered into a minefield. Mr Mafunga went after them, not realising he’d entered a mined area.
After the explosion Mr Mafunga, watched by his three shocked children, tried to crawl out of the minefield to get help. “At first I thought it was the end of everything in my life,” he said.
In hospital Mr Mafunga not only received surgery, he received counselling: “This helped,” he says. “I realised I need not lose my job – but it has affected my life because I can no longer do some of the things I used to be able to do. I used to be a very good farmer. But my artificial legs means a lot, I can do much more thanks to that.”
The HALO Trust visits Mr Mafunga’s school to teach the 620 children how to avoid minefields and stay safe in a landscape seeded with danger. “I worry about them a lot,” he says. “I always give myself as an example to the children who have to pass through the minefield.”
“These landmines are destroying our cattle. A cow costs $400 – it is the most valuable thing a rural person can own. And the landmines are destroying human life. We have to guard our children when they are playing.”
“We will be so happy when the landmines are cleared by the HALO Trust because we will have the freedom that other places have.”
By clearing landmines, you can help Mr Mafunga’s pupils get safely to school and give them the education that can change their lives.
“The landmines are destroying human life. We have to guard our children when they are playing. We will be so happy when the landmines are cleared by the HALO Trust because we will have the freedom that other places have”