On Wednesday 25th April, The HALO Trust celebrated its 30th anniversary with a celebratory dinner hosted by the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP. More than fifty of HALO’s supporters, partners and dignitaries came together to mark the occasion at Dover House in London.
In addressing the guests, CEO James Cowan paid tribute to HALO’s founders and was delighted to welcome co-founder Sue Mitchell and her children Colina and Lorne.
James observed how HALO's founders wanted to bring immediate relief to the people of Afghanistan when Soviet troops withdrew in 1988. Clearing landmines and explosive debris allowed the delivery of aid and pioneered HALO’s model of employing local mine-affected communities in clearance. Thirty years later, HALO has become the largest humanitarian mine clearance organisation in the world.
Other distinguished guests included Sir Malcolm Rifkind, The Rt Hon the Lord Robathan, The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry and CNN reporter Nima Elbagir.
We were also delighted to welcome H.R.H Prince Mired Raad Zeid Al-Hussein, special envoy to the Mine Ban Treaty, His Excellency Mr Simon Smits (Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom), and His Excellency Mr Koji Tsuruoka (Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan to the UK).
As HALO commemorates its first 30 years, James spoke of how we also need to look forward.
"Dover House was not only about reflecting on and celebrating HALO’s growth and endurance over the last three decades. It was an opportunity to discuss with supporters how HALO faces the challenges of today and how it can evolve to meet the future needs of those affected by conflict."
Photos by Paul Hackett