HeroRATs: Sniffing Out Landmines and Tuberculosis

by APOPO vzw
Dec 7, 2009

December 2009 Newsletter

- Philippson Family Foundation visits APOPO Headquarters in Tanzania - Surprise your friends and family with a HeroRAT for the Holidays! - UK Supporters could help APOPO win a prize of £1000 this December! - Endeavor Explorers Scout Troop supports HeroRATs as chosen charity - Meet our Lab Technician, Solomon Mickson

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I hope this holiday season finds you warm and well. For us at APOPO, it’s a great time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished this year and look forward to the future. We are pleased to announce that in the month of November ten rats completed their final tests in landmine training. This brings our numbers to 59 rats trained for landmine detection this year (through November)!

Last month, we were honored to host the Philippson family in Tanzania and are excited to have the opportunity to further work with them on developing our projects and potential. Their foundation has been instrumental in helping APOPO develop strategy and capacity and we are grateful for their guidance and support.

‘Tis the holiday season and many are looking for creative and alternative gifts to share with loved ones and friends. You can share your passion for the work of our Herorats by adopting a HeroRAT for your friends or family this season. (There is also an interesting opportunity for our UK supporters who were considering making a donation this month, see more below). Your support and enthusiasm mean a great deal to our work and each of us. We know that the economic climate has many a bit worried this holiday. If you are in a position to give gifts, please consider supporting a HeroRAT for nephews, nieces, friends and/or loved ones. If that is not a possibility please know that spreading the word about our work is also a great way to contribute and much appreciated as well.

Finally, meet one of our TB laboratory technicians, Solomon Mickson, for a chance to meet one of APOPO’s up-and-coming employees! Thank you for your constant support and being part of our growth over this exciting year. We wish you a happy holiday season and a new year of joy! Warm Wishes,

The HeroRAT team

Philippson Family Foundation visits APOPO Headquarters in Tanzania This November, APOPO was delighted to receive a visit from the Philippson family, represented by Marie and Alain, their daughter Françoise and their grand children. The Philippson Family Foundation has helped APOPO tremendously in the last two years, through a capacity building grant, which focused largely on strategic planning. The mission of the Marie and Alain Philippson Foundation is to support social entrepreneurs, strengthen their organizations and help them enhance their social impact. To achieve its goal, the Foundation has adopted a committed partner approach. The Foundation provides financial support and tailored advice to the organizations of it’s choosing to help develop leadership and the capacity to create change. The visit in Tanzania was a wonderful experience, both for the Philippson Family and for APOPO staff and management. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to meet APOPO supporters such as the Philippson Family face-to-face, and look forward to seeing them again and meeting new supporters in the future.

Surprise your friends and family with a HeroRAT for the Holidays! Looking for a great alternative gift this holiday season? Here are the top five reasons to adopt a HeroRAT for your friends and family:

1. It’s fun, a creative surprise (who would ever suspect a rat for the holidays!), and it’s educational too! 2. We will send a personalized email to your lucky gift recipient announcing the gift from you and including a certificate of adoption, letter from your chosen HeroRAT, and a picture of your hero! 3. Gift recipients can keep up-to-date on their rat’s progress and accomplishments and share them with friends (which means you’ll get to share in their joy as well). 4. Supporting our shared adoption program means you help several of our furry friends make their way in the world of TNT or TB detection. Your contributions help support the training, vet check-ups, diet and loving care our HeroRATs receive. 5. Finally, it’s only 5 euros per month (roughly $7.50) to help us eradicate the dangers posed by landmines and curb the spread of Tuberculosis!

You can get more information on giving the gift of a HeroRAT here, or feel free to send us an email at herorats@herorat.org. You can also get more information on tax-affective giving here. Just don’t wait too long as all orders for HeroRATS must be in by December 22nd to be delivered via email before December 25th.

UK Supporters could help APOPO win a prize of £1000 this December! GlobalGiving.co.uk is offering the opportunity for projects that raise £2000 or more this December via the UK Global Giving site the chance for a bonus prize and prominent marketing. The additional outreach would help us introduce APOPO to more people in the UK who are not yet familiar with our work. Plus, we will be in the running for a bonus prize of £1000! If you are a supporter in the UK and were considering making a donation to APOPO this holiday season, please think about doing so via the GlobalGiving.co.uk and your money could potentially go even farther, which would help Apopo achieve that much more. GlobalGiving.co.uk, is an internationally recognized marketplace for philanthropy that connects individual donors to the causes they care about. Your contribution to this special campaign has the opportunity to make an even bigger impact on saving lives and limbs in Tanzania, Mozambique and beyond!

Endeavor Explorers Scout Troop supports HeroRATs as chosen charity The HeroRAT program is excited to announce our newest partnership with Endeavor Explorers Scout Troop from Sutton Coldfield, UK! The Endeavor Explorers, a troop of about 50 scouts, have elected the HeroRATs as their chosen charity and have undertaken some major awareness and fundraising projects on behalf of the rats! These creative kids, together with their leaders John and Jo Garvey and Tim Taylor, have so far raised over £540 for the HeroRAT cause with concerts, bag packing and coffee mornings. Here, Sam, Jack, Lydia, Sarah, and Will pose for a picture after selling coffee for our cause. The HeroRAT team is honored to be their chosen charity and grateful for all of our supporters contributions and dedication!

Meet our Lab Technician, Solomon Mickson Solomon Mickson is a laboratory technician who joined APOPO just over a year ago. He is passionate about improving healthcare for all Tanzanians and excited to work for an organization that addresses a major disease. Originally from Mbeya, his father was a tailor and his mother worked at home on the large family farm, along with his five brothers and one sister. In 1999, Solomon attended college at the Institute of Technology in Dar es Salaam and, after working as a laboratory technician in a match factory for three years, came to study, with the help of his older brothers, at Sokoine University of Agriculture. Here he received his B.S. in Biotechnology and Laboratory Science, before starting work at APOPO. His goal is to help improve Tanzanians’ access to medical care and treatment, which is why he chose to work in APOPO’s tuberculosis lab. In the future, he hopes to get a Masters degree and further his knowledge base. On a more personal side, Solomon hopes to marry soon and eventually have two boys and one girl. Down the road, he would like to have a farm and raise cows, just like his family back in Mbeya.

  • Kevin Conroy
    Kevin Conroy Thanks for the update!
    • 7 years ago
    •  · 
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Organization Information


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

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