2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Africa--Supporting Survivors

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

Date: 2015 Description: Beneficiaries of survivor assistance provided by HALO in Mukumbura, Zimbabwe.  © Photo courtesy of HALO.

After being forced from his land by Rhodesian security forces during Zimbabwe’s independence war in the 1970s, Gini Jockey was glad to return to his ancestral land and build a homestead for his growing family. Unbeknownst to him and his fellow returnees, Rhodesian security forces had laid thousands of landmines nearby. On June 26, 1980, while collecting wood for roof poles, Jockey stepped on a landmine, forever changing his life and livelihood prospects. The landmine blast severely injured his left leg, requiring a below-the-knee amputation. Without a prosthetic leg, Jockey’s physical limitations left him unable to farm or support his family, and mounting medical bills pushed them into poverty, making them dependent on relatives.

In 1998 Jockey finally received a prosthetic leg from the government of Zimbabwe, allowing him to resume farming and again earn a living to support his family. Unfortunately, after 12 years of use, the leg broke and the family slipped back into poverty. As part of a U.S.-supported program surveying and clearing minefields in Zimbabwe, HALO identified Jockey as one of nine local landmine survivors in need of help. The United States, working through HALO and Cassim’s Prosthetics (a local Zimbabwean company), provided funding to supply Jockey and the other survivors with prosthetics to help them return to productive lives. When Jockey received his new leg, he exclaimed that he was very happy to be able to work and support his family again.