Thursday, September 4, 2008


Everyone has a loved one who always insists that they don't want a gift. COPE Laos has the perfect solution for you. Mike Boddington founded COPE (Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise) 11 years ago in Vientiane, Laos with the mission to provide health care services, counseling and prosthetic limbs to those in need. During the nine years of the Vietnam War the United States dropped 580,000 bombs, making it the most bombed country in the history of the world. That equals two tons of bombs for every man, woman and child! Of the hundreds of thousands of bombs that were dropped, most of them were insidious cluster bombs. Cluster bombs, which do not explode upon impact, are still buried beneath the Laotian more than thirty years later. This makes farming dangerous, which contributes to poverty and hunger, and has claimed the lives of hundreds since. Those who survive a run-in with UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) are often badly maimed, including losing their limbs. Often these accidents happen in isolated rural farming villages, so there is often little or no health care for these amputees, not to mention prosthetic limbs. COPE is the only organization that provides these types services for these victims, including counseling, health care rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs. While over 40 percent of the victims they help are UXO victims, they help others too such as those who have suffered from polio or leprosy. In recent years COPE Laos set up a special program on how you can help someone who has suffered through such a debilitating and life-changing event by purchasing them a new prosthetic limb. It also makes a great gift for the socially-conscious person in your family.
Facts and figures. As you can see, there are ways you can help no matter what budget you are working with.
Amount needed to run the service for one year at current levels - $500,000 per year
Amount needed to build a new dormitory for patients to stay in - $40,000
1 Tricycle - $110
Oven to heat polypropylene and make it workable - $8,000
To treat a new born baby with club foot - $22
To provide a mechanical prosthetic arm - $140
To provide a below knee prosthesis - $ 50
An artificial leg $50
Psysiotherapy $30
Provide crutches - $7
An x-ray $5
A walking frame $22
Daily food allowance for a patient receiving COPE's services - $1.20 ($12 for a week)
-submitted by Leigh McCormick

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