Mette Elisuessen

Photo Leader / Expedition Leader

Meet Mette Elisuessen. Norwegian by birth, Mette is celebrated worldwide for her devotion to the betterment of people– especially children. As a multilingual activist, she has worked tirelessly to educate others and improve the quality of life for the peoples of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Algeria, and the Sahara.

Her grassroots activism has led to many positive changes, and even a Nobel Peace Prize for her group’s role in its landmine banning campaign. Mette has successfully accomplished a variety of work, including organizing speaking tours in the US and over 20 European countries, training field researchers for surveying landmines, and designing/managing projects for the Save The Children in Afghanistan and Norweigan Peoples Aid in Sahara and Algeria. Mette is also trained in, and has practised, emotional first aid to trauma victims.

Besides grassroots activism, Mette’s research has also been implemented as an agent for positive change. This research has been featured in the women’s univer­sity for Afghan Women in Peshawar, Pakistan for TV-aksjonen Kvinner Sammen & The Afghanistan Committee, a field study of Afghans at home and in Pakistan. Additionally, her imperative research has culmin­ated in a multi­media produc­tion for Norwegian schools, and action research amongst Muslim girls exposed to arranged and forced marriage on behalf of ‘Uteseksjonen’ in Oslo. In 2012, Mette researched the ERW situation in Eastern Cambodia as editor in chief and designer of the public­a­tion, ‘In Search of Safe Ground’.

Biography

Degrees/ Certifications in:
  • Studied political science, sociology, and anthropology in Oslo, Norway, as well as in Peshawar, Pakistan, and Melbourne, Australia
  • Learned to speak English, German, Spanish and Norwegian all before she turned 18
  • Lived in the heart of the Afghan Wars from 1990 to 1997 as the program manager for Save the Children, which helped her learn a fifth language, Persian 
  • Designed and implemented 20 popular safe playgrounds in mine-contaminated areas of Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Co-founded the Afghan Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • Part of the team that won the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for banning landmines
  • Received the ‘Barn av Jorden’ award for her work with children in Kabul during wartime
  • Has been a wilderness guide in the Arctic and Antarctic for over twelve years

Today, when Mette isn’t leading an expedition, she actively spearheads international efforts to impel the Pacific island nations to join a new international treaty to ban cluster bombs that she is creating. Along with the slew of work noted above, Mette is a campaign consultant, having worked for the Cluster Munitions Coalition to assist an array of some hundred different national campaigns.

She notes that her work these days has led her to an additional passion for nonfiction writing, film editing, wild edible plants, and marine mammals.