HALO is committed to providing women, living in some of the toughest places to be a woman or a girl in the world, with opportunities for training and employment. We have actively sought to remove barriers to working and developing a career at HALO, especially for the women who often bear most of the childcare responsibilities in their communities.
We have teamed up with a private, anonymous foundation to provide a package of funding for childcare, baby boxes for new mothers and school starter kits for children. These packages have been made available to women in Angola, Iraq, Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Zimbabwe, Nagorno-Karabakh, Somalia and Somaliland.
The nature of landmine clearance means our staff are often living in camps far from their families for perhaps three weeks every month, so these support packages enable us to retain and develop the crucial part of our workforce that we celebrate today on International Women's Day.
Even before we started the package of support for mothers, having a steady job with HALO has for years enabled women in vulnerable communities to feed their families, build homes and educate their children. This has been especially important in Sri Lanka, where the civil war left many women in the north of the country as war widows.
Sasikumar Kokila is one of those women. Watch her story here:
In Iraq, women choosing to work for HALO are at the very forefront of changing roles in parts of the country that were only a few years ago occupied by ISIS. Read their stories below: