Prince Harry has praised the ‘amazing’ efforts of Ukrainians who have been working for a landmine clearing charity.
The Duke of Sussex held a video call with two women who have made the decision to stay in Ukraine with the Halo Trust which has been clearing military ordinance in the eastern European country since 2016.
Princess Diana worked with the Halo Trust in Huambo, Angola, during the 1990s in a fight against landmines. At the time, her support for an international treaty banning use of the explosive devices was seen as a political stance, but it was widely regarded as one of her greatest humanitarian efforts.
The Duke of Sussex held a video call with two women who have made the decision to stay in Ukraine with the Halo Trust which has been clearing military ordinance in the eastern European country since 2016
Prince Harry met virtually with Olesia (left), Halo’s communications manager in Ukraine, and Maryna (right), 25, the charity’s monitoring and evaluation officer
Princess Diana wearing a bombproof visor during her visit to a minefield in Huambo, in Angola in 1997
Prince Harry, who has served as the charity’s patron and visited Angola to see the work they are doing, met virtually with Olesia, Halo’s communications manager in Ukraine, and Maryna, 25, the charity’s monitoring and evaluation officer.
Harry is seen asking the pair how the past couple of weeks have been, to which Maryna responds: ‘Life has turned upside down. Sometimes it seems to me it’s just a nightmare and I’m going to wake up soon.
‘And now we are all together with my family and we have a three-year-old child and each time when we hear the sirens my nephew asks me “what’s happening” and “when will the war end?”
Harry goes on to ask if the women, both aged in their 20s, had the opportunity to leave Ukraine when the war started.
Maryna said: ‘I personally decided to stay because it was quite vague to get the idea about what is happening right now.
‘We don’t know what will happen tomorrow and what is the right decision but now we are here.’
Harry praised the volunteers for their work in Ukraine, adding: ‘Keep doing what you’re doing, saving lives’
Olesia added: ‘It’s really, really important because right now we see the use of ammunitions and mines so we needed to inform people how to recognise explosive devices and even just some parts of those so that adults and children can stay safe.’
Ending the call, Harry added: ‘I know you are going to continue doing the work that is so desperately needed for Halo, for your families and your country.
‘Thank you for being so brave and being so amazing and well done.
‘Thank you for doing it. Keep doing what you’re doing, saving lives.’
Olesia replied: ‘It’s the least we can do.’
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made donations of an undisclosed amount to charities to support the people of Ukraine as they paid tribute to Invictus Games star killed in action in Ukraine
Today the couple announced they made donations to several charities including The Halo Trust, the humanitarian landmine clearance charity, and HIAS, an international Jewish humanitarian organization that supports refugees (pictured Kyiv)
Earlier today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they made donations to several charities including The Halo Trust.
The non-political charity helps communities across the world remove deadly landmines from their land.
Halo has 8,500 staff in 25 countries and territories and has been providing ambulances and logistics to medical authorities in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau.
The duke made an emotional pilgrimage to Africa in 2019 to retrace the steps of his mother Diana, who famously walked through a partially cleared Angolan minefield in 1997 to highlight the trust’s efforts and the threat of the military munitions.
In 1997, Diana said: ‘I am not a political figure. As I said at the time, and I’d like to re-iterate now, my interests are humanitarian.
‘That is why I felt drawn to this human tragedy. How can countries which manufacture and trade in these weapons square their conscience with such human devastation?’