As the existing team of Mine Detection Rats continues to achieve bigger milestones in Mozambique, APOPO has sent an additional group of 15 HeroRATs to strengthen its Mine Action projects in the country. In Chokwe, where our landmine operations are based, the new rats are exploring the environment and getting familiar with their new trainers. These HeroRATs are now undergoing their formal training and preparation for accreditation by the National Institute of Demining. They will practice sniffing for buried mines in the field early every morning for about a month. Once they train hard and pass the accreditation exam, the HeroRATs will immediately start operation in a live minefield. APOPO's Mine Action Program in Mozambique also has a brand new all-ladies demining team recruited to contribute to equal opportunity and employment in the area. This highly motivated team wholly comprises of women hired from the local communities and all without prior demining experience. APOPO's ladies team has already started operations, removing hand grenades and POMZ mines from the Chokwe minefield in Southern Mozambique.
APOPO has partnered with Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) in Angola to provide 40 Mine Detection Rats (MDR) to support their mechanical flails in the Malanje Province. The APOPO MDR will significantly increase productivity of these machines and speed up the release of land back to the local communities. The Belgian Government has provided funding for the next three years, and we have recruited an Angolan Project Manager as well as an Operations Coordinator to manage this project. In addition to this APOPO will also recruit and train 10 Angolan female MDR handlers. The 40 MDR for Angola are undergoing final training and testing in Morogoro and it is hoped to move them to Angola by September. “This partnership with NPA in Angola is a remarkable opportunity for both organizations to combine their individual strengths to benefit the mine affected communities of a country synonymous with landmines.” TeKimiti Gilbert, Head of APOPO Mine Action.
ASANTE SANA (that's Swahili for: thank you very much)
As the new year begins, we hope that you had a peaceful, healthy and happy 2011. Because of the support and generosity of our friends around the world, APOPO and the HeroRATs can look back on the past year as one of our best years yet!
Thanks to you and others like you, the HeroRATs have sniffed out over 700 landmines and returned more than 710,000 square meters of land back to the people of Mozambique. We’ve expanded the reach of APOPO Mine Action into South East Asia, with the launch of our combined Technical and Non-Technical Survey along the Thai-Cambodian border. And we rats are proving ourselves as a vital new diagnostic tool, every week increasing new TB case findings in Tanzania. We even intend to replicate the success of this program in Mozambique in 2012!
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the generosity and help of the GlobalGiving community. Your support has given many a HeroRAT the opportunity to relax in a shiny new kennel after a morning’s training session. It’s bought the plane ticket to Mozambique for Mine Detection Rats, ready to put their life-saving training to work in the minefields. And, of course, it’s thanks to your support that the HeroRATs’ cheeks are often full of our favorite rewards: sweet bananas and peanut treats!
So we would like to take this moment to thank you for believing in us in 2011, and for giving us something to celebrate. We look forward to sharing more life-saving adventures with you in 2012.
That’s the number of lives that have been changed since starting our unique Tuberculosis Detection Program in Tanzania.
Thanks to our detection rats, 2,500 patients have been correctly diagnosed with Tuberculosis – after wrongly been told they were healthy – and are now able to begin life-saving treatment.
APOPO has begun preparations to replicate these results in Mozambique. We’re training HeroRATs in Tanzania to be sent to Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, in four months time.
But before they can get to work, we need your help.
Foundations must be laid, plumbing must be installed, roofing must be built, and electricity must be switched on before our rats can welcome themselves home in a brand-new, state-of-the-art TB Detection Facility. With your help, we can build this together.
On Mother’s Day, give your mom a unique gift by helping mothers around the world.
Lurdes Macheque is a young woman and mother living in Cuarenta, a small village in the Gaza Province of Mozambique. Cuarenta is located in one of Mozambique’s most heavily-mined areas, and Lurdes has lived nearly her entire life in fear of landmines.
Before the land near Cuarenta was cleared, parents in the village worried about the safety of their families. “We knew we could not leave our children,” explained villager Ramon Chivaze. “If your children went to play, you never felt safe. You worried that they would step on a mine.”
But thanks to landmine clearance in the Gaza Province, the lives of families in Cuarenta have already changed for the better. Villagers walk freely on cleared land, and mothers like Lurdes can let their children play without fear.
Help us make more moms smile: donate your Mother's Day gift to support APOPO's mine clearance work in Mozambique.
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