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COPE Visitor Centre Vientiane Laos. Essential Visit.

COPE Vientiane is a non-profit organisation in Laos which provides prosthetic limbs, mobility assistance and rehabilitation for Lao people who can’t afford it. We took a look at their visitor centre in Vientiane, Laos’s capital, this morning. It was one of those incredible places that had me rushing home to get a post written and published straight away. If you are in Laos or Vientiane, you really must add this museum to your itinerary, it will open your minds and your hearts and with kids it’s an essential part of their travelling education.

Cope Laos, the Visitor Centre

Cluster Bombs in Laos

Were you aware of any of this?

  • Laos is still suffering the effects of the horrific bombings in the 1960s. Over 2 million tons of ordnance were dropped on Laos between 1964 and 1973, about 30% didn’t explode.  Laos is still littered with UXO, people die and are horrifically injured, still, today.
  • Last year, 2012,  4 children died when they made a fire in their garden. The unexploded bomb had been lying in the ground for years, the heat of the fire detonated it.
  • People die when they are gardening, farming or searching for crabs in muddy rivers. People, often children, die searching for scrap metal to sell.

 

This is one type of cluster bomb, a casing containing hundreds of small bombies or bomblettes. Dropped from the air they spread to cover a large area. 80 million active bombies remained in Laos after the war.

 

Cope Laos. Cluster bombs at cope visitor centre vientiane

Cluster bombs, horrific isn’t it?

COPE Doesn’t Only Help Bomb Victims

COPE Vientiane provides around 1300 mobility devices every year, including prosthetics. They don’t only deal with amputees, they help children with congenital malformations, too.

They deserve your support.

Visit the COPE centre in Vientiane, admission is free. You can buy something from the shop or make a donation to help support them.

You can find more information about fundraising for COPE here.

The Cope Visitor Centre, Vientiane Laos, helping children

Visit COPE Vientiane, they need your support

The COPE visitor centre is a small museum but a fantastic one. It’s not at all harrowing and it’s very suitable for children. They can touch, handle and try out the mobility devices on display. My children learnt a lot this morning and so did I. I’d like to thank Cope Laos for that and for their valuable work for the Lao people.

I already knew that Laos is the most bombed country per capita IN THE WORLD. We’ve seen parts of bombs used as flower pots, decorations and recycled into useful objects all over Laos. I didn’t realise that the bomb casings we saw were from cluster bombs. I didn’t ever really know what a cluster bomb was.

bombing in Laos COPE visitor centre Vientianne

You will see remnants of the bombing all over Laos

Most countries in the world have banned the use of cluster bombs, the United States, Israel, Russia, China, India and Pakistan haven’t. Doesn’t that say a lot? Find out more about the campaign to ban cluster bombs here.

Cope Laos. Visiting the cost visitor centre Vientiane Laos

 

The young man in the picture was there this morning at COPE Vientiane. He has lost his sight and his hands. He is part of the global campaign to ban cluster bombs. Please go, the cope visitor centre is fairly small and will only take up maybe half a day for you, this is one of the most educational museums we’ve ever visited and a real eye opener. Support Cope Laos in their important work for this wonderful country’s people.

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Jo Carroll

Tuesday 3rd of September 2013

Yes, yes, yes - I've talked (and written) a lot about Laos since I was there last winter - and most people don't even know where it is, let alone have any idea of the trauma people have gone through there. It's a beautiful country, and deserves better.

And the COPE centre - is painful, and humbling, and so important. Images from the film I saw come back to trouble me still

Melanie Murrish

Monday 2nd of September 2013

Very moving Alyson.

gabi klaf

Monday 2nd of September 2013

unreal what the road is giving you and your kids alyson. thank you for sharing this and for caring so much to share it with others. i'm going to share it now dear. gabi

Amy

Sunday 1st of September 2013

Great post Alyson, this really is an issue worth highlighting. I remember reading about the horrific effects of cluster bombs used by the Americans in Iraq (even though their use is against Geneva conventions) - such hideous inventions. I didn't know that Laos was the most bombed country per capita though - that is really shocking. We'll be sure to visit COPE when we get to Laos in a few months.

Heidi Wagoner

Sunday 1st of September 2013

Wow Alyson, this is amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. That picture of the cluster bombs hanging is scary! I didn't know what one was either.

nomadic family life

Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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