Life after landmines – resurrecting Angola

In January, MAF planes flew dignitaries to Huambo to mark the 20th anniversary of its most famous visitor

Life after landmines – resurrecting Angola

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Just before Easter this year, Prince Harry spoke movingly of his late mother – Diana Princess of Wales – and the great legacy she left to the world.

‘In the last months of her life, my mother campaigned to draw attention to the horrific and indiscriminate impact of landmines. At the time, the attention my mother brought to this issue wasn’t universally popular. Some believed she had stepped over the line into the area of political campaigning. But for her, this wasn’t about politics – it was about people.’

In 1997, Diana’s walk through a former minefield in Angola was a bold attempt to inspire governments around the world to do the seemingly impossible: banish landmines forever.

In the eight years before that historic walk, MAF aircraft had been flying in Angola during a terrible civil war that ultimately spanned four decades.

Millions of landmines continued to be scattered like seeds throughout the Angolan countryside and MAF aircraft provided one of the few truly safe ways for missionaries to travel.

Thanks to supporters, we were also able to make regular flights for The HALO Trust, a British organisation dedicated to eliminating landmines

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The immense task

But, 20 years ago the demining process was slow, HALO’s funding was minimal and the increasing use of hidden explosives by warring factions made the immense task seem hopeless as well as dangerous.

However, our supporters had faith that God would  bring life to Angola. They kept praying for the impossible and MAF kept flying. We’re still flying today.

Diana’s act of courage changed attitudes dramatically. The Ottawa Treaty banning anti-personnel landmines was signed before the end of that year. Lethal devices were no longer strewn indiscriminately throughout the country and we knew in our hearts that the total demining of Angola was no longer impossible! It was a tremendous answer to prayer.

Where death waited beneath the soil

An end to the horror is in sight, 20 years on. Your belief in the impossible has been justified – can you make a gift today and help everyone involved see this job finished?

Landmines destroy lives and ruin economies. Having been an exporter of agricultural produce before the civil war, Angola now has to import up to 80% of its food. But, where death waited beneath the soil, crops now grow.

And, where 800 minefields used to be, more than 55,000 acres of land have been reclaimed – new towns full of life are growing throughout the country!

Without the love of MAF supporters, we could not have kept flying and this ongoing resurrection of Angola would have remained impossible.

Our pilots depend on your prayers and gifts to continue flying HALO teams into the heart of darkness – never losing faith in God’s will for us to detect and eliminate every last landmine.

‘Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.’ 2 Chronicles 20:6

It’s been a colossal effort, guided by His hand – the God of the impossible. The civil war ended 15 years ago, but deadly remnants of those days still litter many communities.

Like his late mother, Prince Harry is a HALO patron and has given his full support to the Landmine Free 2025 campaign that was launched in the wake of his speech. MAF’s part in that process – your part in that process – will be as crucial today as it was in the beginning.

Please stay with us to the end and finish what MAF helped to start nearly 30 years ago. Please make a gift to our work and ensure that our planes continue to bring people life.

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