Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions

by APOPO vzw
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Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions
Khnar Phtuol village celebrate freedom from mines!
Khnar Phtuol village celebrate freedom from mines!

This last quarter has been a busy one for APOPO and our HeroRATs thanks to your support! We have had new additions enter the world, and some of the pups remain with mum, whilst others have begun their socialization training. We will be running a very special silent auction in the coming months, where you will have the possibility of naming one of our HeroRATs. Keep following us on social media for more information, or you can email me directly emma.mortiboy@apopo.org and I will let you know when the auction starts!

In terms of how your support has helped in the last quarter, your contribution has generated some genuinely heart-warming stories. You enabled us to hold a handover ceremony in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in partnership with CMAC, giving the land back to the community of Khnar Phtuol village. APOPO held a special ceremony now that all the landmines have been cleared, and the land can be used by the village to live and farm. This new freedom enables economic growth and for people to rebuild their livelihoods. The photo below shows the joy of freedom you have given to this village in Cambodia. Thank you. 

During the last quarter, APOPO also received renewed support from the Belgium Government and worked together with the Norwegian People’s Aid Angola. This additional funding will help support life-saving operations clearing the Cuanza Sul province, which is one of the most contaminated provinces in Angola.

Update on our Research and Innovation

At our Tanzanian headquarters, HeroRATs are being trained to help stop illegal wildlife trafficking that continues to diminish many endangered species. This ground-breaking initiative exposes rats in training to the scents of commonly trafficked wildlife, including pangolin scales. In time, these special HeroRATs can be deployed to local shipping ports where they can quickly search cargo containers for wildlife contraband.

Our Research and Innovation Team have also been working on training the HeroRATs for search and rescue, appropriately calling them RescueRATs! These rats are trained to locate a victim and then pull a microswitch on their vest to alert the rescuers. The rat then returns to the handler for a tasty treat as a reward! 

Your support helps our HeroRATs reach new heights and every donation you make will make a difference. We hope you enjoyed reading about the impact of your support and we are also delighted to let you know that the latest Annual Report is now available for you to read: LINK

With huge thanks and best wishes,

The APOPO Team

 

 

High profile Belgian Government ceremony
High profile Belgian Government ceremony
Training HeroRAT, Daudi for wildlife detection
Training HeroRAT, Daudi for wildlife detection

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Volunteer, Rashidi
Volunteer, Rashidi

LAST QUARTER

The last quarter has been bittersweet. Our HeroRATs have continued their lifesaving work around the world, and as you may have seen in the news, in January, our much beloved Magawa passed away peacefully in his sleep. It was very sad, especially for the handlers and trainers who worked so closely with Magawa, but he did live to a grand old age of eight and in his memory, our supporters raised over $10,000 to help support future HeroRATs.

At our Tanzanian Training Center, we have just had a new litter of HeroPUPs born - they are still nestled up with mum and will begin the process of socialization at 4 - 5 weeks of age. Socialization means that APOPO trainers gently carry them around, introducing them to sights, sounds, smells, and noises, to adapt them to the training environment and their human trainers. Our HeroRATs are always so friendly and adaptable with people, and it is this crucial part of the training, which makes this the case.

The total landmines and other explosives cleared, and safe land released throughout last year, has benefitted both direct and indirect beneficiaries, allowing children to play freely and creating safe paths to school and work. Thank you.

COMING UP

Next month on the 24th of March, it is World Tuberculosis Day, which is where we join the thousands of other health agencies to raise awareness and promote donations to those helping in the fight against tuberculosis. Fighting tuberculosis in countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Tanzania, is more important than ever with the emergence of COVID19, adding another severe acute respiratory illness into the mix. It is more important than ever that our work detecting missed tuberculosis samples continues.

The fight to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) involves the combined efforts of clinics, programs, and volunteers working together to address the diagnosis and treatment shortfalls. APOPO's TB detection HeroRATs do their part by helping find undiagnosed cases of TB. After a positive sample has been confirmed, the partner clinic is notified so that patients can start treatment and begin feeling better. Once the clinic receives the notice of a positive diagnosis, APOPO's community partner steps in to help provide additional education and support and ensure that medications are completed. APOPO has volunteer healthcare workers who provide much-needed outreach to underserved communities and rural areas where there is a high gap from diagnosis, to linkage, to care.

Many of these volunteer healthcare workers have themselves suffered tuberculosis or provided care to families afflicted with the debilitating disease. Knowing the hardship tuberculosis imposes, they now help those in need.

Our HeroRATs detect 40% more cases of tuberculosis than microscopy alone, meaning your donation not only saves lives from the horrors of war, but also from the horrendous symptoms associated with tuberculosis. Thank you.

Warm wishes,

Emma

Handler with TB Detecting HeroRAT
Handler with TB Detecting HeroRAT
HeroRAT playing in tree!
HeroRAT playing in tree!
HeroRAT harnessing up for landmine clearance
HeroRAT harnessing up for landmine clearance

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Our new HeroRAT, Ronin available for adoption.
Our new HeroRAT, Ronin available for adoption.

Your support has achieved some amazing things this last quarter. Here is a roundup of some of the latest news, which you have helped make possible. ♥

THE LATEST NEWS IN TB DETECTION IN AFRICA

Our HeroRATs have been working hard detecting cases of tuberculosis, finding on average 40% more cases than microscopy alone. They are particularly efficient at tracing TB in younger patients, which is something we are looking into research wise - we believe that the viral load in children might be too low for microscopy to detect, but nothing gets past our HeroRATs' noses!

Speaking at the recent Tanzania Tuberculosis Stakeholders’' Union Event, Dr. Saitore Laizer, who attended as a representative of the Tanzanian Chief medical Officer, announced that the number of TB patients in the country are increasing at an alarming rate, meaning your support of the HeroRATs' work in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania is even more important. Thank you.

THE LATEST NEWS IN CAMBODIA

As of 2021, it is estimated that there are between 4 to 6 million landmines and buried explosives still active throughout Cambodia. The horrors of war and conflicts with political regimes don't simply go away once peace is declared.

There is a huge variance of buried weapons still active beneath Cambodian soil, but our magnificent HeroRATs have proven to be super-efficient and a highly economical way to find and remove these dangers! 

THE LATEST NEWS IN ANGOLA

Throughout 2021, APOPO, working with CNIDAH, Angola's National Mine Action Authority, has focused on the wester Cuanza Sul province. This province has been targeted for economic growth and development, and APOPO's goal to clear 2 million square meters of land will directly benefit 12,000 people from local communities. 

Much of the current area where the teams are working is covered in hilly and jagged terrain. While this presents challenges to detection work, all staff remain committed and determined to help ensure a brighter future for Angola and the villagers residing in the province.

During 2020, Covid-19 restrictions suspended operations and slowed down work that is critical to helping Angola meet Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) deadline of 2025. The Angola team is considering integration of technical survey dogs, known as APOPO HeroDOGs, to help the country meet its goal.

Your donation has huge impact around the world - saving lives and we simply could not do any of this, without your support. Thank you so much and we look forward to updating you next quarter!

Best wishes,

Emma

AP Landmines Cambodia remnants of war
AP Landmines Cambodia remnants of war
Unexploded ordnances - UXOs in Cambodia
Unexploded ordnances - UXOs in Cambodia
Anti-Tank Landmines in Cambodia
Anti-Tank Landmines in Cambodia

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Malen and Magawa
Malen and Magawa

This special project update features APOPO’s star HeroRAT, Magawa’s retirement and a new squad of 20 HeroRAT arrivals in Cambodia!

As you may remember, veteran Magawa was formally presented a PDSA Gold Medal – the animal equivalent of the George Cross - being the first rat in the charity’s 77-year history of honouring animals to receive a PDSA Medal! See images for Magawa with his suitably rat sized medal.

During his illustrious five-year career, HeroRAT, Magawa’s work has directly saved the lives of men, women and children who were impacted by hidden landmines and other deadly remnants of war. Every discovery he made reduced the risk of injury or death for the people of Cambodia. 

Magawa found an amazing 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance, making him APOPO’s most successful HeroRAT and he helped clear over 225,000 square metres of land, allowing communities to live, work and be educated; without fear of losing life or limb. 

Our New Squad of HeroRATs in Cambodia

So, our new squad of 20 HeroRATs in Cambodia arrive at an opportune time, following the expansion of the APOPO Cambodia landmine clearance program, and as veterans like Magawa reach retirement. All the new recruits have now gone through a period of acclimatization and retraining with their new Cambodian handlers and now that they have received their external accreditation, they are clear to join team Magawa on the minefields!

The additional HeroRATs will help boost the daily square meter coverage and clearance, so local communities can get back on their land as quickly as possible. 

Your continued support helps this new generation of HeroRATs in Cambodia and other HeroRAT teams around the world, continue their work.

Thank you so much for supporting APOPO and our amazing HeroRATs, we couldn’t do what we do without you!

Magawa with his PDSA medal
Magawa with his PDSA medal
Mine detection HeroRAT
Mine detection HeroRAT

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Planting seedlings around the former minefield.
Planting seedlings around the former minefield.

Thank you so much for your continued support last quarter! Your support has contributed to some incredible achievements, and we hope you enjoy reading about the highlights of your incredible investment into APOPO's work.

Excitingly, on January 14th, APOPO and the Cambodia Mine Action Center (CMAC) participated in a ceremony to hand over the last minefield cleared during 2020!  Over the last 5 years APOPO’s innovative working methods in Cambodia have proven to be reliable and much more cost-efficient compared to traditional manual landmine clearance techniques. We even exceeded our target goal for 2020 by 25%, clearing a total of 4,389,935 square meters of land over the course of the year! There is still much to do, Cambodia has some of the world’s highest mine and UXO casualty rates, but with your help, we know we can do it.

We are also delighted to report that we have received a huge boost to our efforts to eradicate landmines in Angola from the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BMFA). Angola has one of the highest casualty rates of any landmine-affected country, so we will continue to seek funding for this vital work, in order to meet the 2025 target by the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) deadline of 2025.

HeroRATs training to help fight illegal wildlife trafficking

HeroRATs have proved their ability to detect illegally trafficked pangolin scales (the world’s most widely trafficked mammal) and African hardwoods. Our team was thrilled to see a group of rats successfully indicate these while ignoring common items used to mask their smell in shipping containers! Together, in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) of South Africa, APOPO is now exploring the inclusion of additional wildlife products, while developing unique deployment strategies to position the rats where they are needed most.

We hope that you enjoy seeing the impact of your donations, as much as we do - none of this would be possible without support, such as yours. Thank you.

This week, we are taking part in GlobalGiving’s Little x Little campaign, where from the 8th March until the 12th March, your donations are match funded. If you donate this week, before Friday 12th March, your donation will be automatically increased by 50%! 

Giving back the land - last minefield cleared 2020
Giving back the land - last minefield cleared 2020
HeroRATs training to stop wildlife trafficking
HeroRATs training to stop wildlife trafficking

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About Project Reports

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Organization Information

APOPO vzw

Location: Morogoro, Tanzania - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @HeroRATs
Project Leader:
Emma Mortiboy
Morogoro, Tanzania, United Republic of
$871,078 raised of $1,000,000 goal
 
18,031 donations
$128,922 to go
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