HALO's mission is to lead the effort to protect lives and restore livelihoods threatened by landmines and the debris of war.
Monica Tonde, 29, lives in Chimushonga village in eastern Zimbabwe with her husband, E ort, 39, and her four children, aged two, _ve, ten and eleven. A very dense, unfenced mine_eld close to the village took up nearly eight acres of their seventeen-acre farm. Since HALO finished clearance last year, the Tonde family have been planting cotton and maize on this former minefield. On average they used to lose one cow every year on the mine_eld, which was a huge _nancial burden. For farmers such as E ort, livestock is used as a store of wealth, and each accident wipes out up to $500 of their savings. "At one point I had eighteen cows. At the moment I have nine, but I am very keen to expand my herd now that I know I won't be losing cattle every year." There are additional bene_ts: "This is the _rst time in my lifetime that we have been able to plough all of the family plot. Now, with all the land available, I hope to double my yield." Monica and her husband are very grateful to those who made the demining possible: "I thank the donors for helping us - not only is this area very undeveloped, but we were also living like people in war. The mines were a reminder of the conflict." With the minefield cleared, Monica and her family can move beyond the conflict and focus on rebuilding their lives. Both Effort and Monica have plans on how to spend the additional income they expect to make from their land. Monica wants to improve the family home, and Effort is hoping to save two thousand dollars to buy a mill. The mill would enable the couple to grind their own maize, but would also serve as a source of income, allowing them to providing a milling service for their neighbors.