LUANDA, ANGOLA – On Saturday, 29 November the Luanda Caledonian Society hosted the second annual St. Andrews Ball at the Epic Sana Hotel raising over $100,000 to remove landmines from the rural villages of Angola. The sold-out, black tie event brought together 370 guests for an evening of Scottish haggis sampling and dancing with music provided the Craigendarloch Fiddlers, a Scottish ceilidh band.
Distinguished guests included John Dennis, British Ambassador to Angola, Tony Dolton, Unitel Chief Executive, Martyn Morris, BP Angola General Manager, and H.E. Mr. Desidério da Graça Veríssimo e Costa, the former Angolan Minister of Petroleum and representatives from the National Demining Commission in Angola.
Mineclearance – Progress and Perspectives, a photographic exhibition highlighting the landmine problem and positive impact of clearance in Angola and worldwide, was on display at the Epic Sana Hotel from 25-29 November. The exhibition finale on 28/29 November was attended by numerous Ambassadors , government dignitaries, petroleum industry executives and mine action officials. US Ambassador Helen La Lime, EU Head of Delegation Gordon Kricke and Dr. Madelana Neto of the national demining authority CNIDAH all gave speeches praising HALO’s work in Angola over the past two decades; November 2014 is the 20th Anniversary of HALO’s humanitarian mineclearance intervention in Angola.
The events were organized by the Luanda Caledonian Society with the support of the British Embassy, the Luanda International School and a long list of generous corporate sponsors
This effort is especially important because funding for our work in Angola has reduced significantly over the last few years, despite the fact that the problem remains serious and widespread –threatening injury and death and preventing valuable, fertile land from being farmed in some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
The Luanda Caledonian Society (www.luandacaledoniansociety.com) was founded in 2013 by expatriates living in Luanda with the aim to promote Scottish culture and to encourage multi-national ties in both business and social arenas and raise money for charity. Their inaugural event last year raised $30,000 for our work to remove the deadly debris of war, including a generous gift of $20,000 from British Petroleum employees in Angola.
Thank you to Laura Moore, all the members of the Luanda Caledonian Society, the British Embassy and all the corporate sponsors for their time, effort and enthusiasm. Together we can achieve a Mine Free Angola.