COPE Laos, Vientiane
|Name||COPE Laos, Vientiane, Laos|
|Aim||To provide prosthetic, orthopedic, and rehabilitation services for victims of traffic accidents and UXO in Laos.|
|People reached||"around 12,000 UXO related accidents occurred since 1973."|
|Donation||250 USD for four leg prostheses and a brick in the wall|
In Vietnam, the Americans were bound to rules and regulations: bombing missions had to avoid temples and settlements. In Laos however, the Americans could bomb whatever they liked, and sadly, they did so with appalling immoderation. Over half a million missions had been carried out over Laos, and wide areas of the country are still saturated with bombs, more than 30 years after the fact. The museum has a map indicating the saturated areas, that are along the Ho Chi Minh-trail and in large areas in the north. The US army has bombed Laos, everything that moved in Laos, for a period of eight years out of an irrational fear of communism. The reparations they have paid to the people of Laos is laughable.
About forty percent of COPE's customers miss their limbs because of UXO's (unexploded ordnance). They are often children playing in the fields and finding a "bombie" or larger ordnance. Because of the booming scrap metal market they often forget about the danger and try to move it. "And then boom, two kids dead" a small boy recalls.
We decide to donate four legs and a brick in the wall. We also pick up a pink t-shirt that says "hello cluster bomb" and has a one-legged girl on it.
|An improvised prosthesis|