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“Before I came to work for HALO I had nothing, I could not get a job. My sister was struggling to support me and my daughter and there wasn’t enough to divide between us."

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"At first my sisters were very afraid of me going to work in a place where I could get my arms or legs blown off. They asked me ‘is this where you are going to work?’ And I said ‘yes, I am going to face it.' After I did my training I felt so strong. Now my sisters have seen the good training I’ve had they are happy for me to do this job.

I think it is important that we women are clearing the landmines, that we are leaving the fields free for animals and so we can use the land. It is good that we are leaving this community of Kanenguerere safe and free from mines. I do not remember the war as I was only a small baby, but my older sister, Marta, has told me that because of the fighting, we had to abandon our house in Lobito and run away. She said we children were at home alone because our parents were at work when suddenly the bombs started falling. Our father came running home and put us in the car and we escaped to Biopio. We were not able to return home for many years, until the fighting ended."

"I don’t think there is any difference between men and women doing this job. Everyone, man or woman, must focus on their work to do it well."

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"When I am away at the camp my daughter, Emilsy, is looked after by my sister Marta. (The minefield at Kanenguerere is very remote so the 34 women live nearby in a tented camp during the 24-day work cycle.) It is very difficult to leave her because she is so young but I like living in the camp with the other women. After work, we come together, sit and talk—people plait each other’s hair, paint nails, sing and dance. I feel very happy and blessed by God to be part of this group of all-women deminers in Angola."

"After work, we come together, sit and talk—people plait each other’s hair, paint nails, sing and dance. I feel very happy and blessed by God to be part of this group of all-women deminers in Angola."

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"My job has helped my family a lot. I feel good that I am contributing and I know that when I come back from work I can buy food and toys for Emilsy. It has allowed me to improve our home, to put a tap in our yard, concrete the floor and make it a place for the children to play. In the future, I dream of having my own house where I can live with my daughter. I have already laid the foundations!”

Photographs by Scout Tufankjian
In May 2018, renowned photo journalist Scout Tufankjian spent two weeks in Angola with The HALO Trust, documenting the project and the lives of the women.

"In the future, I dream of having my own house where I can live with my daughter. I have already laid the foundations!”

The HALO Trust

The HALO Trust | Copyright © 2018