Golden West Humanitarian Foundation

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Golden West Humanitarian Foundation is a public charity established in 1997 to address operational limitations in mine and unexploded-ordnance-clearance efforts, and to protect the lives and livelihoods of individuals affected by landmines and UXO.1 Since 1997, Golden West has grown and built upon its work, starting new programs with governments, the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations, while expanding operations to Belize, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Moldova, Nicaragua, the Solomon Islands and Vietnam.2

Based in California (U.S.), with offices in Cambodia, Hawaii (U.S.), South Africa and Vietnam, Golden West consists of nine full-time American employees and 13 local staff in Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as a number of part-time employees who are engaged as needed. Combining experience with explosive-ordnance disposal, engineering, chemistry and more, Golden West works to create innovative technology for the mine-action community making operations safer, faster and/or cheaper.3


As part of its mission to help those affected by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, Golden West undertakes numerous activities, including:

Photo collage courtesy of Golden West Humanitarian Foundation.Photo collage courtesy of Golden West Humanitarian Foundation.

Employee Scholarship Program

Finally, Golden West provides education support to developing nations through GWHF's Employee Scholarship Program. The ESP affords local staff—and often their families—with the money needed to continue their education while employed with Golden West. Since the program's origination in 2008, 90 percent of the local staff acquired a secondary education, with the program covering the costs.


Golden West's funding comes from a combination of grants, contracts, corporate donors and private donors. A large majority of government funding comes from the United States Department of Defense's Humanitarian Demining Research and Development program, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, and the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA). In addition, Golden West has contracts with the Organization of American States for SA/LW destruction, stockpile reduction, training and UXO-clearance work.


In the future, Golden West plans to increase involvement in SA/LW and stockpile-reduction efforts in Latin America through the Organization of American States. It also intends to continue expanding shallow-water detection technology to assist UXO clearance in Southeast Asia’s ponds, rivers and canals, improving the capacities in the South Pacific as well as increasing partnerships in Vietnam and Laos to expand technology and training. The Children’s Education Division is creating a new graphic novel—a scrap metal/munitions-risk story—that relies heavily on a visual component to increase communication.

~Eric Wuestewald, CISR Staff


Contact Information

Golden West Humanitarian Foundation
6355 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 517
Woodland Hills, CA 91367-2102 / USA
Tel: +1 818 703 0024
Fax: +1 818 703 1949

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia / USA


  1. "A Short but Eventful History." Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Accessed 30 January 2011.
  2. "Where We Work." Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Accessed 30 January 2011.
  3. "From Ideas to Actions." Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Accessed 30 January 2011.
  4. Golden West Humanitarian Foundation. Accessed 10 February 2012.