APOPO vzw

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 d...
Mar 31, 2016

Treating our rats as the heroes they are

The rats get regular health check ups (wth Shafii)
The rats get regular health check ups (wth Shafii)

APOPO places a high value on animal welfare. As the organization is built around the rats, we ensure that they are treated like the heroes they truly are. With your support, our staff makes sure the HeroRATs are in good health and well cared for and can save many more lives!

One of the aspects our rats receive is environmental enrichment through the use of toys, objects for chewing, and a clay pot in their cages. It is important that animals such as the HeroRATs receive environmental enrichment because without they will become bored, causing stress, aggression and lowered performance.

“We provide enrichment items that increase species-specific behavior and enhance the rats' wellbeing,” explains Shafii, APOPO’s early training supervisor. “We always say that a happy rat is a better performer so we make sure they have all they need.”

All the HeroRATs are provided with enrichment items like a specifically designed clay pot that provides a dark and cool environment, wood to gnaw on, bedding to make a nest and some toys, such as little balls and boxes made of toilet paper rolls and filled up with peanuts. These toys motivate the animals to forage for food, behavior specific for the Cricetomys Gambianus.

Wild African giant pouched rats make a number of foraging trips in a typical night, gathering food in their pouches and returning to their burrow to store it. Their cheek pouches help them to harvest food while out foraging and defer eating until reaching the safety of their burrow, thereby reducing exposure to predators.

“All trainers get to learn about the rats’ behaviour and health when they start with APOPO,” says Shafii. “Over the time you learn so much about the rats and their needs and every trainer develops a bond with the animals. It is this bond all trainers feel toward the HeroRATs, what makes APOPO a special place to work and such a special project to support.”

We're very grateful for your support that helps us treat our Heroes the way they deserve it.

 

Shafii and the HeroRAT team

A claypot provides a dark and cool environment
A claypot provides a dark and cool environment
Toys motivate the animals to forage for food
Toys motivate the animals to forage for food
Every trainer develops a bond with the HeroRATs
Every trainer develops a bond with the HeroRATs

Links:

Feb 2, 2016

Life after mine-clearance

Margarida was APOPO deminer and is now on training
Margarida was APOPO deminer and is now on training

Our brave little HeroRATs always work alongside human colleagues, like the demining staff. APOPO's deminers in Mozambique have demonstrated tremendous commitment, sacrifice and dedication in helping rid the country of thousands of landmines and return safe land to the people of Mozambique.

Now the country has successfully resolved its landmine problem, it no longer requires such a large core of deminers. For many of APOPO's staff in Mozambique, APOPO was their first formal professional experience, and due to the narrowly specialized and highly technical nature of the work, they may struggle to compete for future work opportunities without new skillsets.

APOPO therefore initiated a vocational training course, allowing our former deminers to acquire new skills and undertake an alternative career. APOPO is offering a range of courses in cooperation with the Mozambican National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (INEFP): plumbing, carpenter, small business management, accounting, agro-processing and many more.

Last year 61 people enrolled and they have all recently completed their courses with positive feedback. We’re happy to announce some have already found a new job or started a small business on their own, allowing them to provide for themselves and their families. This year another 70 people will participate in the training.

Thank you so much for joining us in the fight against landmines and helping us to support our deminer-Heroes build up a new life!

Learn more about our work, staff and HeroRATS by visiting our website or following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Warm regards,

 

APOPO and the HeroRATs

Former deminers are now preparing for a new career
Former deminers are now preparing for a new career
APOPO deminers helped rid Mozambique of landmines
APOPO deminers helped rid Mozambique of landmines

Links:

Dec 8, 2015

The HeroRATs are on a roll!

Mine detection rat training in Cambodia
Mine detection rat training in Cambodia

Dear APOPO supporter,

We shared the exciting news of Mozambique being officially mine-free but our HeroRATs and demining teams are still working in the country. The humanitarian demining tasks came to a close but APOPO is currently supporting the Mozambican National Institute of Demining with some residual tasks, like ammunitions clearance of a former weapons store that is being transformed into an ecological park. We have 16 HeroRATs supporting the operations at Malhazine and the task is progressing well. So far we have verified 76,647 square meters of land and safely discovered and identified 4,550 items of unexploded ordnance, 13 landmines and 140 items of small arms and ammunitions.

In Cambodia the mine detection rats arriving earlier this year have almost finished their in-country training and are being tested before deployment in the minefields. All HeroRATs have successfully taken a first important hurdle before deployment in the real minefields by passing a performance test according to International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and administered by the Cambodian Mine Action Authorities and our partner the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC). They will now move on to a last stage of testing before being deployed on to the minefields and saving lives!

We’re also happy to announce we’ve implemented a new strategy that will help us to get more TB patients on treatment. The TB team in Mozambique are collecting sputum samples from 14 clinics every day and the HeroRATs are now testing the samples till well into the night, allowing us to return test results to the clinics in less than 24 hours. This means that patients, who are tested as negative by the clinics, but found TB positive by APOPO, will now be told of the APOPO result before leaving the clinic. This reduces the need to track them down at their homes, and gets more people on to TB treatment immediately.

 

We couldn’t have accomplished all this without your generous support and we would like to thank you wholeheartedly.

 

With gratitude,

 

The HeroRAT team

People like Nuru can get faster on TB treatment
People like Nuru can get faster on TB treatment
Deminers using a large loop detector at Malhazine
Deminers using a large loop detector at Malhazine

Links:

 
   

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