Learn to Cope
With some 288 million of cluster munition explosives and about 75 million unexploded bombs left across Laos after the war ended, the country still bears the after effects of the war since the 1960s. understand Lao history and learn more about recovery and rehabilitation efforts with a visit to COPE Visitor Centre in Vientiane.
COPE Vientiane is a non-profit organisation in Laos which provides prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs and rehabilitation for Lao people who can’t afford them. Tourists wanting to connect deeper to Laos can visit a well-run Visitor Centre with their interesting and informative multimedia exhibitions on prosthetics and related materials to the country’s war history. The exhibition and powerful documentary open your mind to this on-going situation. To educate everyone, the center has a display of ‘baby bombs’ dangling from the ceiling. The size of an apple, each bomb looks as harmless as a toy – but it continues to maim and kill people who search for crabs in muddy rivers or who unknowingly set off an explosive when they build a fir on their farm or garden.
With a gift ship of local goods and café on hand, all of the proceeds support COPE’s projects in Laos. Opens daily from 9am to 6pm (close on public holidays), +856 21 241972, copelaos.org