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
Ronin and Handler, Sokun
Ronin and Handler, Sokun

Thank you for your continued support of our amazing HeroRATs - you have collectively helped us raise a million dollars on GlobalGiving!

We have therefore set up a new GlobalGiving page where you can still give to our amazing HeroRATs. The new project number is 58093. Our work and associated costs to save lives will continue, so we hope you will consider joining us on the new page, so we can keep you updated on your amazing support!

If you are a monthly donor, do not worry - your recurring support will automatically transfer to the new HeroRATs project. 

2022 - What a Year!

For this first report of 2023, I thought it would be nice to summarise the year 2022, and as the year ended, our HeroRATs and brave deminers still continued their work apace. Throughout 2022, a total of 7,830 landmines and unexploded remnants of war have been detected by our teams globally and almost 11 million square meters of land have been declared mine-free! An amazing achievement thanks to your support - thank you!

We have HeroRATs deployed across five different countries – working to save lives with their incredible sense of smell! Of course, this would not be possible without your support – you have saved thousands of lives with your support of our HeroRATs in fact. Last year, we estimate that with your support, APOPO helped over 20,000 direct beneficiaries and over 100,000 indirect beneficiaries. Your support has made a difference in so many people's lives. 

Your support releases land and people from the shackles of fear and opens up opportunities for entire communities. Your support gives people the freedom to play, walk and drive without fear, and it enables people to lift themselves up in a socioeconomic sense. People can plant crops, build new community buildings, graze cattle and also create new infrastructure, improving entire villages’ financial outlook. 

The horrors of landmines cannot be ignored though – every year over 5,000 people are maimed or killed by a landmine or UXO and half of the victims are children. Every landmine that you helped detect and remove from the ground with your support prevents another accident. Thank you.

Coming Up 

Looking forward to 2023, our HeroRATs will be continuing operations in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Angola. We will also be looking into other geographical regions where our HeroRATs may be able to save lives.

Of course, your support also helps us research new ways in which our HeroRATs can save lives, so research will continue into our search and rescue rats (RescueRATs!) and our wildlife trafficking detection HeroRATs. We cannot wait to keep you updated on our successes throughout 2023!

Thank you so much for your generosity and support, and most importantly - your dedication to making the world a better place.

With huge thanks and best wishes,

Emma

HeroRAT Ilaria at work in mine detection
HeroRAT Ilaria at work in mine detection
Playtime! All HeroRATs have play time each day
Playtime! All HeroRATs have play time each day
HeroRAT detecting Tuberculosis (TB)
HeroRAT detecting Tuberculosis (TB)

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Baraka  - Our New Adoption Rat
Baraka - Our New Adoption Rat

As always, thank you for your continued support and we hope you enjoy your update on the past quarter. Our HeroRATs have certainly been busy finding unexploded remnants of war and landmines across the globe.

In Cambodia, the rainy season has not held our teams back and they continue to remove dangerous weapons making land safe again for Cambodians. In Angola, our HeroRATs' landmine detection allows APOPO to continue saving lives.

APOPO's work encompasses more than just our major demining operations. Our commitment to social transformation, and improving economic and environmental conditions include employing and training locals from rural villages impacted by landmines. Of course, post clearance, many other opportunities arise for people, such as once again being able to farm their land and graze cattle, thus raising socio-economic standards for many thousands of people in our countries of operation. 

In terms of tuberculosis (TB) detection, the APOPO Communications team in Tanzania recently spent some time in the field together with partner community-based organization MKUTA, speaking with former TB patients throughout Dar es Salaam that were initially misdiagnosed by their clinics but later correctly diagnosed by APOPO’s HeroRATs. 

These first-hand accounts serve as the groundwork for a better understanding of the challenges communities still face because of undiagnosed and untreated TB. While reports detail the analytical data behind the HeroRATs work, we can never forget that those numbers and tests represent real lives. Hearing from TB patients in their homes, at the clinics, and in their own words also allows the APOPO team to reflect on our mission and core values. We will share these impact stories with you in the next project updates.

 

Your support allows our HeroRAT teams to remove explosives from the ground as quickly and efficiently as possible and to make the detection of TB a priority for communities across Africa. 

OTHER NEWS!

In other news, we are delighted to announce that we have taken the opportunity to launch a new adoption package for a HeroRAT pup called Baraka. Baraka was born on August 4th of this year, at APOPO's Training and Innovation Center in Morogoro, Tanzania. This HeroRAT in training is not only incredibly cute, but he is also a future lifesaver in the making and you can follow his training and deployment into his new career by adopting him on our website!

As you will know from previous updates, APOPO is an incredibly lean and efficient non-profit, with a huge 90% of your donation going directly to the work we do on the ground. Your support genuinely has an impact, and we couldn’t do what we do without it. Thank you.

We look forward to updating you in the next quarter!

Ronin on duty in Cambodia
Ronin on duty in Cambodia
Comms Officer Humphrey gathering impact stories
Comms Officer Humphrey gathering impact stories
Carolina detecting tuberculosis (TB)
Carolina detecting tuberculosis (TB)

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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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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

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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