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May 2, 2018

This Mother's Day: Give The Gift That Gives Back...

This Mother's Day, why not give a gift that gives back?

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Instead of showering your Mom with flowers, how about giving a donation in her honour which will be used to help empower the moms, mums and mamas we work with across the globe.

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By giving a donation in honour of your Mom, you'll be helping women like Sharifa continue to lead and care for their families.

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From 1st to 13th May 2018, GlobalGiving will match 100% of all new, recurring donations received by APOPO. 

 

SHARIFA'S STORY

During her pregnancy Sharifa got very sick and recognised the symptoms of TB as she had had it once before. 

"My name is Sharifa and this is my baby Ramadhani. I live in Dar es Salaam in an area called Manzese. 

During my pregnancy I fell ill. I had a bad cough and I lost a lot of weight instead of gaining it. I became very weak. As a result I wasn’t able to look after my family. I had had tuberculosis in 2008 and my symptoms were very similar this time again so I went to the hospital for a TB test. When they told me the result was negative, I got very worried. 

I had to rest but I wasn’t receiving any treatment and kept getting worse. I was in very bad shape and at one point even became afraid my baby wouldn’t make it.  After a few days I got a call from a lady from MKUTA. She wanted to see me and visited me at home to explain they had sent my sputum sample to APOPO where it was retested and they had found tuberculosis. She also told me it was rats who had found the disease! At first I couldn’t believe it but she assured me it was true - APOPO's lab had confirmed it with microscopy. 

I’m so happy I was diagnosed and could start treatment. I recovered quickly and now both my baby and me are doing well. When I meet other mothers with children I tell them my story and make sure they know what to do if they ever have symptoms that might suggest tuberculosis."

 

Sharifa - "I tell other mothers my story..."
Sharifa - "I tell other mothers my story..."
APOPO
APOPO's HeroRATs sniffing samples.
May 1, 2018

New Seedlings for Choma and Kisosa

Working together to offset carbon.
Working together to offset carbon.

To become carbon neutral, APOPO needs to sequestrate carbon equal to 2000 planted trees a year. Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT), in partnership with APOPO, developed a programme designed to empower farmers to develop their own food forests.

It’s design guarantees that each involved farmer chooses a minimum of 5 tree species which will be later planted on his or her plot. All farmers are trained in tree nursery establishment and all planted trees are from their own prepared nurseries.

News from the field:

In the first quarter of 2018 all 5 HeroTREEs groups gathered in Ruvuma, Tanzania to witness the first payment for carbon offsetting to 50 heroes. These 50 heroes from Mgambazi, Tulo and Ruvuma were each paid a share of 2,352,450 TZS in recognition of planting and caretaking some 3282 HeroTREEs on their land in 2017; each farmer was paid on the basis of the type and number of trees they were able to plant and manage.

The hard work continued into the early months of 2018 with a total of 1422 seedlings of the Acrocarpus, Albezia and Cedrela species being transplanted into farmers' fields in Choma and Kisosa. 

We received appreciation for our work, carried out in partnership with SAT, and farmers were more determined than ever to plant more trees in 2018. The chairman of Choma Street, who is also one of our HeroTREEs farmers, said:

We have never witnessed something like this in the Ulugulu Mountains; being provided with support to establish trees for our benefit and receiving payment for their establishment and caretaking -  this provides big motivation for our group in Choma to plant as many trees as we can.

Thank you for your support!

The forests of the Uluguru Mountains are of critical importance to indigenous village communities, the cities of Morogoro and Dar es Salaam, and the survival of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. Furthermore, the project area is of vital importance to for Morogoro city's water supply.

On behalf of the communities involved, please keep supporting this vital work.

1422 seedlings for Choma and Kisosa.
1422 seedlings for Choma and Kisosa.
Abdalla takes care of the seedlings.
Abdalla takes care of the seedlings.
Apr 11, 2018

Ratticus Finch - A Field Update

Ratticus Finch hard at work.
Ratticus Finch hard at work.

It's time for your HeroRAT update!

Ratticus Finch continues to do well in the field with some great numbers for March 2018. 

In the month of March 2018, Ratticus Finch cleared a whopping 3280 square meters of land in 19 days. Working a total of 493 minutes across the month, Ratticus Finch found 3 anti-personnel mines and 2 items of unexploded ordnance.

In her down time, Ratticus received a HeroRAT health check by one of our specialist team members in addition to a favourite treat - banana!

Thanks to the incredible work by Ratticus Finch, we were able to hand back more land to local communities. We're also able to continue to protect the lives of local inhabitants, people like Lann, a former soldier who lost part of his leg to an unexploded mine.

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LANN'S STORY

"I am Lann and I am a farmer at Khnar Phtuol, near Siem Reap. Twenty-five years ago I was a soldier defending our village against the Khmer Rouge. One day whilst on patrol I stood on a landmine that the Khmer Rouge had laid. I heard a loud crack and I fell over, then my comrades were shouting and screaming above me before I blacked out. I woke up in the hospital to find that I had lost my lower right leg. I was devastated.

For some years I was recovering. Not just physically but mentally. To lose a leg is no easy thing, especially when you need to be strong and physical for a living. Worse, the landmines were still lying hidden around my home and the fields of the community. We were terrified.

Eventually I met my wife and started a family, and they gave me something to work for. I learned better how to cope with only one leg, and a local charity gave me good crutches. I was able to farm well; I could plant rice, cut wood, and harvest the crops. But the landmines were still there, and my kids were growing up. They began helping with work, and playing in the fields. We knew the dangers but what could we do? We had to survive. Accidents happened. A child in our community lost an eye when he found an old bullet and began to polish it and it exploded. And we lost many of our precious cows and goats to landmines.

"Then we heard about an organization called The Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) who were clearing away the landmines and slowly working their way towards us. We were so happy about this and couldn’t wait for them to arrive. To our surprise, they turned up with a team of rats that they said would help find the landmines for them so they could get the mines out of the ground and destroy them. They said they were called ‘HeroRats’ and they were trained by their partner APOPO. 

Those rats scuttled about, sniffing here and there, and then they would stop, smell the air, and then scratch the ground. That means they found a landmine! CMAC said that the rats were fast and had really speeded up their work. So together CMAC and APOPO had helped many communities. Less than two weeks later, our fields were free of landmines. Our kids were safe, our fields full of growing crops. We need to give all our thanks to CMAC, APOPO and those speedy HeroRATs!"

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Thank you for your incredible support for work and keep an eye out for future updates about Ratticus Finch!

Inspecting a mine found by Ratticus Finch.
Inspecting a mine found by Ratticus Finch.
Lann lost a leg by standing on a mine.
Lann lost a leg by standing on a mine.
 
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