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May 16, 2018

Field Update - The GS Rat

The Goldman Sachs Gives Rat in the field.
The Goldman Sachs Gives Rat in the field.

It's time for your HeroRAT update!

The Goldman Sachs Gives rat continues to do well in the field with some great numbers for the first quarter of the year 2018. 

In the months of January to March your HeroRAT cleared a whopping 6745 square meters of land in 39 days. Working a total of 8335 minutes across the quarter.

In his down time, he 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 your HeroRAT 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 your HeroRAT!

Lann lost his leg to a landmine.
Lann lost his leg to a landmine.
Goldman Sachs Gives Rat working hard.
Goldman Sachs Gives Rat working hard.
May 8, 2018

100% Match of your Mother's Day Donation!

With Mother's Day fast approaching, why not send a donation in honor of your Mom?

 

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

 

The donations we receive go towards empowering mothers across the globe - mothers like Gloria who strive day in, day out to look after their families through incredible adversities and hardship. 

Gloria is a widowed grandmother, smallholder, and head of her family. For years she struggled with having to farm land contaminated with unexploded landmines in order to provide food for her family. With APOPO's help, Gloria and her family are now able to farm a large area of land previously off-limits to them - they're able to farm safely, in the knowledge that they won't lose life or limb to a landmine.  

I am Gloria, a grandmother and smallholder.
I am Gloria, a grandmother and smallholder.
My family depends on crops for our livelihood.
My family depends on crops for our livelihood.
Power lines were mined during the war.
Power lines were mined during the war.
We had no choice but to farm dangerous land.
We had no choice but to farm dangerous land.
But then APOPO came and cleared the land.
But then APOPO came and cleared the land.
Each yellow stick shows where a mine was.
Each yellow stick shows where a mine was.
My daughter and her child are safe now.
My daughter and her child are safe now.
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's HeroRATs sniffing samples.
APOPO's HeroRATs sniffing samples.
 
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