harry-halo-letter

Prince Harry's moving letter to charity supported by Princess Diana revealed

The Duke of Sussex saw the work of the Halo Trust in 2019

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of Sussex has praised the work of a charity, once supported by his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, during the coronavirus crisis. Prince Harry wrote a letter to staff working for the Halo Trust, thanking them for continuing to remove landmines despite the outbreak of the virus and providing COVID-19 support to locals in countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya.

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WATCH: Prince Harry retraces his mother's steps in Huambo

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The father-of-one wrote: "In these trying times, hope comes from the light of our common humanity. Nowhere is that light burning brighter than at the Halo Trust. As countries closed their borders, lockdowns came into force and international travel became harder, many might have chosen to suspend operations. Instead, Halo kept open a presence in all 25 of its country operations."

Harry made an emotional pilgrimage to Africa last September to retrace Diana's steps, who famously walked through a partially cleared Angolan minefield in 1997 to highlight the work of the Trust. The Duke walked down the former minefield in Huambo, which is now a bustling community. He also visited Dirico to see the charity's work first-hand, donning body armour and a face mask to inspect an area of bush being cleared of ordnance by Halo.

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Princess Diana walked through a minefield in Huambo in 1997

The Duke praised the Halo Trust's response to the pandemic, saying: "Halo might just have stuck to its core role, but I would also like to salute you for pivoting so quickly to meet the challenges unexpectedly presented by the pandemic."

The charity has 8,500 staff in 25 countries and territories and has been providing ambulances, logistics and PPE to medical authorities in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau.

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Harry retraced his mother's steps during the royal tour

Harry added: "The fact that you can operate across conflict affected countries like Afghanistan is also a precious resource in the face of a disease that recognises no frontlines.

"It is at times like this that the work and efforts of people like you - prepared to do whatever it takes to help, serve and protect others - shines through. In sometimes hazardous and dangerous situations, your commitment to your communities and people who need your help is remarkable. I am hugely proud to be able to support such an extraordinary
organisation."

James Cowan, Halo's CEO said: "It is very thoughtful of the Duke to write to HALO staff in this way. Not many people realise we do more than landmine clearance. In responding to Covid we have the skills and equipment to respond. And above all we can operate in some very dangerous places with the trust of the local people."

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