Despite extensive training, the team go through a drill every morning to remind them of the dangers they face.
Photographer Antonio Olmos visited the village of Cabio in Benguela Province to document the work of the women of the
Halo Trust who are clearing the anti-personnel mines left over from the Angolan civil war.
Zeferina Victori clears a minefield by hand, inch by inch. 24-year-old Esperanza Ngando applied for a job with the Halo Trust when she was told the work would save people’s lives. A landmine found by the all-female team. Loriana Tchulo Tavares Sacanombo prepares her equipment for mine clearing. Despite extensive training, the team go through a drill every morning to remind them of the dangers they face. Despite extensive training, the team go through a drill every morning to remind them of the dangers they face. The team head back into the minefield after the explosive they found was detonated. Maria Niva, 19: “When I heard they weren’t just recruiting men, I felt it was my duty to show that women could do this too.” A landmine found by the women is detonated by Halo Trust engineers. Loriana Tchulo Tavares Sacanombo in the minefield. The red-painted stone in the foreground marks the border between cleared and un-cleared. Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer The women take a break from their mine-clearing work, dancing to music on the radio. 28-year-old Suzana Soares started as a cook, moved into de-mining and is now a section commander responsible for the safety of her team. Joana Cassinda Moco Carlos at work in the minefield. Manuel Rodriguez, 10, lost one of his legs and almost his life when one of his cousins accidentally picked up some live ordnance. The women wave at a passing train. The village was close to the railway which was why it was strategically important during the civil war and why Cabio was mined. The work of the women of the Halo Trust has helped secure the safety of the children of the village, including these attending school lessons. The work continues…