Support APOPO's rats in their life-saving missions

by APOPO vzw
Margarida was APOPO deminer and is now on training
Margarida was APOPO deminer and is now on training

Our brave little HeroRATs always work alongside human colleagues, like the demining staff. APOPO's deminers in Mozambique have demonstrated tremendous commitment, sacrifice and dedication in helping rid the country of thousands of landmines and return safe land to the people of Mozambique.

Now the country has successfully resolved its landmine problem, it no longer requires such a large core of deminers. For many of APOPO's staff in Mozambique, APOPO was their first formal professional experience, and due to the narrowly specialized and highly technical nature of the work, they may struggle to compete for future work opportunities without new skillsets.

APOPO therefore initiated a vocational training course, allowing our former deminers to acquire new skills and undertake an alternative career. APOPO is offering a range of courses in cooperation with the Mozambican National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training (INEFP): plumbing, carpenter, small business management, accounting, agro-processing and many more.

Last year 61 people enrolled and they have all recently completed their courses with positive feedback. We’re happy to announce some have already found a new job or started a small business on their own, allowing them to provide for themselves and their families. This year another 70 people will participate in the training.

Thank you so much for joining us in the fight against landmines and helping us to support our deminer-Heroes build up a new life!

Learn more about our work, staff and HeroRATS by visiting our website or following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Warm regards,

 

APOPO and the HeroRATs

Former deminers are now preparing for a new career
Former deminers are now preparing for a new career
APOPO deminers helped rid Mozambique of landmines
APOPO deminers helped rid Mozambique of landmines

Links:

Mine detection rat training in Cambodia
Mine detection rat training in Cambodia

Dear APOPO supporter,

We shared the exciting news of Mozambique being officially mine-free but our HeroRATs and demining teams are still working in the country. The humanitarian demining tasks came to a close but APOPO is currently supporting the Mozambican National Institute of Demining with some residual tasks, like ammunitions clearance of a former weapons store that is being transformed into an ecological park. We have 16 HeroRATs supporting the operations at Malhazine and the task is progressing well. So far we have verified 76,647 square meters of land and safely discovered and identified 4,550 items of unexploded ordnance, 13 landmines and 140 items of small arms and ammunitions.

In Cambodia the mine detection rats arriving earlier this year have almost finished their in-country training and are being tested before deployment in the minefields. All HeroRATs have successfully taken a first important hurdle before deployment in the real minefields by passing a performance test according to International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) and administered by the Cambodian Mine Action Authorities and our partner the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC). They will now move on to a last stage of testing before being deployed on to the minefields and saving lives!

We’re also happy to announce we’ve implemented a new strategy that will help us to get more TB patients on treatment. The TB team in Mozambique are collecting sputum samples from 14 clinics every day and the HeroRATs are now testing the samples till well into the night, allowing us to return test results to the clinics in less than 24 hours. This means that patients, who are tested as negative by the clinics, but found TB positive by APOPO, will now be told of the APOPO result before leaving the clinic. This reduces the need to track them down at their homes, and gets more people on to TB treatment immediately.

 

We couldn’t have accomplished all this without your generous support and we would like to thank you wholeheartedly.

 

With gratitude,

 

The HeroRAT team

People like Nuru can get faster on TB treatment
People like Nuru can get faster on TB treatment
Deminers using a large loop detector at Malhazine
Deminers using a large loop detector at Malhazine

Links:

The HeroRATs have helped clear over 11 million m2
The HeroRATs have helped clear over 11 million m2

We're thrilled to announce that Mozambique was officially declared free of all known landmines on the 17th of September! This massive accomplishment wouldn't have been possible without the tremendous efforts of our brave deminers and HeroRATs and your generous support!

 
Mozambique is now freed of tens of thousands of landmines and this achievement is even more special to APOPO since Mozambique is the first country where our landmine detection rats were tested and deployed in the real minefields.

Back in 2003 a first group of landmine detection rats nailed their trial tests in a densely mined field, indicating all 20 mines that were subsequently found by the manual deminers. A massive breakthrough for APOPO and the HeroRATs, proving our sniffers were up for the real job in the minefields. Soon after, eleven rats passed the accreditation test organized by the National Demining Institute of Mozambique and received their operational license.

They joined our mine action team in Gaza Province where they have helped clear over 6 million square meters of land, more than a year before the deadline! This successful clearance operation was the start of many tasks throughout Mozambique and eventually the HeroRATs have helped free five provinces of landmines, thereby finding 13,274 landmines and returning 11,124,446 square meters of safe land to the people of Mozambique.

"We were all excited when the rats passed the first trial and accreditation tests but I don't think anyone of us was hoping they would become such an important part of our operations and would help Mozambique become mine-free", says APOPO's training manager Abdullah, who was in Mozambique in 2003. "I'm so proud of them and I look forward to celebrating future accomplishments of our HeroRATs in Angola and Cambodia"!

A special thank you from our team and HeroRATs in Mozambique and we hope we can free more countries of landmines and help thousands of people back on their land with your support!

 

Best regards,

The APOPO team

www.apopo.org
www.facebook.org/herorat
www.twitter.com/herorats

 

 

 

 

The HeroRATs work alongside human deminers
The HeroRATs work alongside human deminers
Mine detection rats speed up clearance operations
Mine detection rats speed up clearance operations
The people of Mozambique can use their land again
The people of Mozambique can use their land again

Links:

Support the HeroRATS in their lifesaving missions
Support the HeroRATS in their lifesaving missions

Tomorrow, Wednesday July 15th, is a big day for everyone at APOPO and a great opportunity for our GlobalGiving supporters around the world to help our HeroRATs in their life-saving missions.

Your donations help our HeroRATs save more lives and if you make just one donation to APOPO this year, make it tomorrow! Tomorrow is GlobalGiving's Partner Bonus Day, where every donation to APOPO will be matched at 50%. This means that for every $10 you donate, APOPO and the HeroRATs will receive $15, making it the best day of the year to donate. The event starts at 9AM EST and lasts until Midnight.

Donors understandably want to generate as much impact as possible with their charitable contributions, says Robin Toal, APOPO’s Online Development Manager. “GlobalGiving's Partner Rewards day represents a fantastic opportunity to increase your contribution by 50% simply by donating during the event. There really has never been a better time to give and we would like to thank the GlobalGiving community for their continuous support!

Our Tuberculosis detection rats have done an excellent job the first half of this year, detecting over 950 TB patients in Mozambique and Tanzania that were initially missed by microscopy. Thanks to our heroes, these people could start treatment and get active again without risking to infect others. We’re also very excited to inform you about the arrival of some of our mine detection rats in Cambodia, one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world!

This is the first time our HeroRATs havetravelled outside of Africa. The rats are now acclimatizing and undergoing further training before the Cambodian Mine Action Authorities will test them to make sure they are ready for the operational work. Once they pass this test the HeroRATs and their trainers are officially licensed for operational work in the minefields and can start helping people back on their land.

 

Thank you for your generous support from everyone at APOPO and all of the HeroRATs!

 

Regards,

The HeroRAT team

The HeroRATs arrived in Cambodia
The HeroRATs arrived in Cambodia
TB detection rat receiving a reward (Briana Marie)
TB detection rat receiving a reward (Briana Marie)

Links:

Sniffing out mines in Angola
Sniffing out mines in Angola

 Angola is one of the most mine-affected regions in the world with about one fifth of the population affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), that’s over 4 million people! We’re committed to help those 4 million people getting their land and lives back and would like to thank you for your kind support”, says APOPO Program Manager for Mine Action in Angola, Frank Gregorio.

Early 2014 APOPO received an operational permit for a humanitarian landmine clearance project in Angola. Together with its local partner Norwegian’s People Aid (NPA), APOPO carried out operations in Malange province with support of the Mine Detection Rats(MDR), clearing an area of more than 190,000m2 and helping thousands of people back onto their land.

Now preparations have started to deploy the HeroRATs in Zaire Province on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our teams will be clearing two sites, Malele 2 and Malele 3, in Mbuela commune about 100 kilometres North from province capital Mbanza Congo. The area was a strategic zone during wartime, with a position of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and offices of the border police and immigration. Mines were laid as a protective tactic in an area of about 240,000 m2, along the border and a road leading to the border.

The now contaminated land is much needed by the local population for agricultural and commercial activities. Once cleared, part of the area will be used to develop a market that will stimulate cross-border trade with neighboring Congo, creating development opportunities and positive change in the lives and livelihoods of the local community.

If you want to know more about our work, progress and future plans in Angola, please check our website, Facebook  and twitter.

With gratitude,

The HeroRAT team

Clearing much needed land
Clearing much needed land
HeroRAT clearing mine contaminated land
HeroRAT clearing mine contaminated land

Links:

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Organization Information

APOPO vzw

Location: Morogoro, Tanzania - Tanzania, United Republic of
Website: http:/​/​www.apopo.org
Project Leader:
Paul Delbar
Public Fundraising Manager
Morogoro, Tanzania, United Republic of