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APOPO's mission is to develop detection rats technology to provide solutions for global problems and inspire positive social change. APOPO's vision is to solve pressing humanitarian challenges with detection rats technology. Our core values are: Quality - Demonstrating and promoting high standards in research, design, training and implementation of detection rats technology. Social Transformation - Developing skills, creating jobs, improving socio-economic and environmental conditions, releasing land for development, and combating public health issues. Innovation - Pioneering creative research and innovative solutions within a participatory learning culture. Diversity - Embracing diversity...
Oct 7, 2014

Abu helps rid his community of landmines

Abu is one of APOPO
Abu is one of APOPO's deminers

Mozambique is on track to be free of landmines by the end of this year. Abu is one of APOPO’s deminers who’s been working hard towards this achievement. Every day he makes sure his family and community can live, work and play in their fields without fear.

“Everyone in the community knows about the mines that put our lives in danger. I decided to do something about it so I joined APOPO”, says Abu.

“I carry out tasks such as minefield preparation and landmine detection. Once our HeroRATs have found the mines, I carefully expose them and my colleagues then safely destroy them. The rats are truly amazing. They are so fast! They can search 200 square meters an hour. This could take me eight days.

People say I risk my life to find the landmines. But we follow strict safety rules and we take regular breaks from the heat and intense concentration. There are also fully trained medical staff on hand with top quality equipment.

My job supports my family and I help to pay school fees for my nieces and nephews. I also started up my wife in our business as one day all the mines will be gone. And my children can now play and collect firewood without fear of landmines. Thanks to apopo, my family is now safe”.

Abu helps clear Mozambique of landmines
Abu helps clear Mozambique of landmines
Abu and his family are now safe
Abu and his family are now safe

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Aug 29, 2014

Freeing Cambodia of landmines

Mine clearing activities near a village
Mine clearing activities near a village

APOPO recently launched a humanitarian landmine clearance project in one of the most mine-affected parts of Cambodia. The country is still heavily contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war from decades of conflict.

“The unexploded explosives are everywhere, especially in poor rural areas. Everybody in Cambodia has experienced how dangerous landmines are and how they still restrict many people’s lives. One of my friends lost his eyes in a mine accident and these kind of injuries put a lot of pressure on the rest of the family, especially if the breadwinner is hurt”, says Bunthoeun Theap, one of the APOPO Cambodia staff members.

The lives of villagers have been severely restricted by the presence of landmines, in terms of numbers of casualties and limited livelihoods. “Whole communities were unable to get on to their productive land because of landmines”, adds Bunthoeun. “But I’m a proud to say that we are working hard to clear our land so all Cambodians can live and work safely again”.

Since the start of the project early 2014, APOPO and local partner CMAC (Cambodian Mine Action Centre) have cleared more than 3,000,000 m2, finding more than 1600 landmines and 13500 Unexploded Ordnances (UXO).

APOPO stays committed to help Cambodia rid of landmines and we thank the whole GlobalGiving Community for its support! If you want to know more about our work, progress and future plans in Cambodia, please check our website, Facebook  and twitter.

 

Best regards,

The APOPO team

Some areas are highly contaminated with mines
Some areas are highly contaminated with mines
Villagers working in their fields next to mines
Villagers working in their fields next to mines
Jul 21, 2014

Optimism at the Landmine Ban Conference in Maputo

HeroRATs and Hero Trainers work to clear landmines
HeroRATs and Hero Trainers work to clear landmines

The Maputo 3rd Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty concluded in late June in positive fashion with the seventy-nine participating state parties making strong declarations of renewed commitment to the Treaty.

The convention was convened to discuss the progress made toward realizing Treaty commitments in countries suffering from landmine and ERW contamination. Specifically, individual deadline requirements and extension requests were considered as states parties work to clear their territories of landmines and destroy stockpiles in accordance with set deadlines.

Although much progress has been made there is much left to do in spite of commitments shown. The review conference offered a high-level space for inclusion of landmine survivors and considered the plight of landmine victims, who long after landmine clearance has taken place still find themselves unable to work or without proper support. Apopo’s honorary president HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium addressing the conference said "...victims should be integrated into global and national policy related to disability, health, education,employment, development and poverty reduction."

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) also issued a completion challenge to all states parties, asking them to commit to complete all major Treaty obligations within the next decade. "The Maputo Action Plan adopted today provides a roadmap for what needs to happen during the next five years to achieve a world without landmines," said ICBL-CMC Executive Director, Sylvie Brigot-Vilain.

The ICBL reacted with guarded optimism to the United States' long awaited announcement that it intends to take steps to join the Treaty. Although the ICBL pointed out that no target date has been set by the US, they acknowledged that the announcement shows that the US has changed its stance on the Treaty for the better.

Apopo was well represented at the Conference, including at the welcome reception on Sunday evening where eight apopo deminers were in attendance. Apopo was honored by the invitation from the Director of Mozambique’s National Institute for Demining (IND), Mr. Alberto Augusto, because deminers are the backbone of apopo operations and must not become forgotten heroes.

Apopo has much to show for its efforts in Mozambique and beyond since 2007, having released over 11 million square meters of land back to local populations with over 900,000 people having been freed from the threat of landmines.

Country Director for apopo Mozambique Mine Action program Tess Tewelde said "the occasion of the Convention was a welcomed opportunity for Mozambique to present its remarkable progress in mitigating its landmine problem. For its part apopo was proud to showcase our work in strong partnership with the IND, national and international stakeholders. Apopo sincerely thanks its donors and partners who make this life-saving work possible."

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