Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Harry named landmine trust patron

Prince Harry in Mozambique with part of a destroyed landmine (Fiona Willoughby/Halo Trust/PA)
Diana, Princess of Wales was pictured wearing protective clothing during a visit to a minefield being cleared by the Halo Trust in Angola in 1997

Prince Harry has become patron of the 25th anniversary appeal of an anti-landmine organisation whose work was championed by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

The royal will support the Halo Trust in its landmark year as it raises awareness and funds for its work which has seen it clear more than a million landmines since being founded in 1988.

Diana famously highlighted the work of the organisation when she was pictured wearing a face mask and protective clothing during a visit to a minefield being cleared by the trust in Angola in 1997.

Harry followed in his mother's footsteps when he visited Mozambique in 2010 to learn about Halo's work, and under supervision detonated several mines and met people who had lost limbs to landmines.

A video showing footage of the Prince's private visit to the trust's project in Mozambique was released on Thursday to mark the announcement of the patronage.

During the past 25 years the trust has found and destroyed more than 1.4 million landmines and more than 11 million items of large calibre ordnance - including 195,000 cluster bombs - cleared 9,800 minefields and made safe more than 433,000 acres of land.

Guy Willoughby, Halo's chief executive officer, said: "Many people don't realise that wars might be over, but people are still being killed and maimed by landmines every day - there were more than 4,000 victims of landmines in 2011.

"Prince Harry's invaluable support in our 25th anniversary year will help us to raise awareness of this important issue so that we can raise funds to recruit and train more de-miners to get more landmines out of the ground more quickly."

A St James's Palace spokesperson said: "Prince Harry takes a keen and active interest in Halo's work and is delighted to support the charity in its 25th year."

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