Can you imagine letting your child go out to play in a minefield? Not many of us can. But there are many people all over the world who are living in areas with hazardous debris from wars left behind including abandoned minefields with unexploded landmines, assault weapons, and millions of bullets.
HALO Trust is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in the removal of the hazardous debris of war. Angelina Jolie joined the group many years ago when she was filming on the set of “Tomb Raider” and now she will be helping HALO and Google Earth bring transparency to the landmine issue. When Jolie was filming in Cambodia she was told that she could only walk where paths had already been determined. The concept of the ground being unsafe was foreign to her. Since that time she has been a vocal advocate of removing mines from war-torn countries.
Jolie will be narrating tours of minefields through Google Earth software and showing viewers through time-lapse images how mine-clearance is helping war-torn communities rebuild. “Explore a Minefield” uses Google Earth Pro to collect data, produce maps for donors and NGOs, and for minefield survey. The project keeps in line with HALO’s mission of “getting mines out of the ground, now” and is funded by a Google Earth Outreach Developer Grant.
According to HALO Trust, “Fighting for survival doesn’t always end when the war does. Landmines and other explosive remnants continue to endanger some of the world’s most vulnerable people, injuring and killing thousands every year and preventing economic growth.”
Jolie said of her support for HALO, “In the aftermath of war, HALO’s mine-clearing efforts are fundamental to a safe return and community building.”
Since HALO’s work began in 1988 the foundation has destroyed over 1.3 million landmines, destroyed over fifty million bullets, immobilized over 2,800 heavy weapon systems and made over 414,000 acres of land safe from the debris of war.