Raised so far: £83 - it will provide one person with a prosthetic leg and another two people with rehabilitation equipment. In short, in just a few hours we gave 3 people a chance for a better life.
What is COPE?
•COPE is a local not-for-profit organisation in Laos – South East Asia. They work in partnership with the Centre of Medical Rehabilitation (CMR) and provincial rehabilitation centres to provide access to both orthotic/prosthetic devices and rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and paediatric services to people with disabilities.
•COPE was formed in 1995 by agreement between the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR and a group of non-Government organisations including POWER, World Vision and Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics.
•COPE was created in response to the need to provide UXO survivors with the care and support they required, namely by way of orthotic and prosthetic devices.
Mr Adam Tarbox - our Engagement and Learning Mentor explains why he decided to support COPE:
“Last year I toured around Asia on a 6 month trip where I was volunteering in different schools. During the trip I also met with workers from COPE. They told me that there still are 80 million undiscovered bombs, which local residents try to dig up hoping to sell them later for scrap metal. Our fundraising activities over the next months will provide a number of people with a chance of a better life, making our efforts worthwhile."
COPE has four major roles:
1. To act as a portal for skills development and training, upgrading clinical skills in physiotherapy, occupational therapy and P&O within the government rehabilitation services. This is extended to management and administrative skills to ensure that the capacity for COPE to run as a local organisation is sustainable.
2. To support expenses of patients who are unable to pay for treatment and associated costs as well as upgrading facilities at the five centres currently supported by COPE.
3. To act as an interface between the donor community and the Lao Government. International donors require a recognised standard of auditing and financial accountability for proposals to be successfully accepted and managed.
4. To facilitate referral between the network of clinical services to provide comprehensive treatment of people living with mobility impairments, ensuring people with disabilities in Lao PDR will have access to the rehabilitation services that can improve their ability to participate in their communities.
The long-term vision of COPE is to become a locally-staffed organisation that covers the cost of mobility devices and rehabilitation for people in Lao PDR who cannot afford it.
Why does COPE need our help?
•260 million sub-munitions (bombies) from cluster bombs were dropped over Laos between 1964 and 1973from the American Army when they invaded bordering country Vietnam.
•UXOs are 'explosive weapons that failed to detonate when they were fired, dropped, launched or projected, and still pose a risk of exploding'. In Laos, there are a range of UXOs contaminating the countryside, including large bombs, rockets, grenades, artillery munitions, mortars, landmines and cluster munitions.
•80 million bombs failed to explode, which means children and adults are at danger everyday within their villages/towns.
•Laos have a small population of only 6.8 million people, 80% of their population are made up of hill tribes. This is where the cluster bombs are most dangerous. Villagers often try to dig the bombs out of the ground in order to cash in on the scrap metal… they aren’t aware of the risks… these villagers are extremely poor, which leaves them with no choice other than to risk their own life because they need every $$ they can to put food and water on the table!!