Complete text of lengthy interview with parents of schoolgirl killed by old ordnance.

March 1, 2015
Complete text of lengthy interview with parents of schoolgirl killed by old ordnance.

Date: February 2015 Location: Dak Cheung District, Lao PDR. Topic: Fatal accident that occurred on 9/30/14 Victim: Sunsamay, age 12 Participants: James Harris We Help War Victims Ko Interpreter Chansamay Victim’s mother Keophouvong Victim’s father Neuphet UNEODCOOPER Team Leader Ko: Good morning. I would like you to introduce yourself. Father: Good morning. My name...
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Our de-miners give up a hard-earned day of rest in order to clear UXO from the garden where a young girl died.

February 24, 2015
Our de-miners give up a hard-earned day of rest in order to clear UXO from the garden where a young girl died.

We agonized over the plight of a family who recently lost their daughter in an accident with Vietnam-era ordnance. Since the girls’ death last autumn her family has been afraid to return to the garden where the accident occurred. While we badly wanted to clear their land, we feared that by adding an unscheduled...
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Dilemma of a tight schedule! We have more farms to clear of UXO than we can complete. Should we add the land where a girl died? Might another family be dropped?

February 21, 2015
Dilemma of a tight schedule! We have more farms to clear of UXO than we can complete.  Should we add the land where a girl died? Might another family be dropped?

On the last day of Sunsamay’s life — the day she was killed in an accident with Vietnam-era ordnance — she and her mother, Keophouvong, were weeding around coffee tree seedlings the two had recently planted. For weeks Sunsamay and her mother had worked during school holidays and weekends to transplant over 5,000 tender...
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Twelve-year-old girl killed in garden by ordnance so old that it was dropped before her parents were born.

February 19, 2015
Twelve-year-old girl killed in garden by ordnance so old that it was dropped before her parents were born.

On August 30 last year, I was spending a quiet day at home in Wisconsin. That Saturday was the first day of an exceptionally early Labor Day weekend, and my wife and I were feeling jet lagged; we’d just flown home from Taiwan the previous day. The long weekend meant that any gainfully employed...
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We find bomblets that have been associated with many child fatalities. This video explains why the BLU 3-B is so dangerous.

February 14, 2015
We find bomblets that have been associated with many child fatalities.  This video explains why the BLU 3-B is so dangerous.

Over recent years there has been a reduction in the number of accidents with UXO. That welcome change has been the result of great effort to raise public knowledge about ordnance and to teach villagers what actions might lead to an accident. The reduction of casualties has occurred over most age cohorts: school-aged youth,...
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Ironically, when children have a close call with UXO we must ask them to immediately return to the site. This video is a tribute to children who walk in harm’s way to keep others safe.

February 11, 2015
Ironically, when children have a close call with UXO we must ask them to immediately return to the site.  This video is a tribute to children who walk in harm’s way to keep others safe.

In Laos 40% of victims of accidents with unexploded ordnance are children. That’s because children spend much of their time in the places where UXO can be found: gardens, pastures, walking trails, fields and forests. And, children are by nature more inquisitive and adventurous than other age groups. And here’s an irony! Immediately after...
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Five months after Nan was bitten she has not been restored to health

February 7, 2015
Five months after Nan was bitten she has not been restored to health

It’s likely that the snake that bit ten-year-old Nan was the “White-Lipped Pit Viper.” This snake is found throughout Laos, and its appearance, behavior and habitat seem a close match to the circumstance of Nan’s encounter. (Pictured above are Nan and me searching the internet for photos of snakes that match Nan’s recollection.) Nan...
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Parents make their daughter’s treatment a priority. Even higher than securing their next rice crop

February 3, 2015
Parents make their daughter’s treatment a priority. Even higher than securing their next rice crop

Our good friends at COPE (Cooperative Prosthetic and Orthotic Enterprise) in Vientiane work in concert with the staff of the National Rehabilitation Center to provide services to amputees and other physically disabled clients. Patients who make their way to the center receive skilled diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, the cost of outreach commonly exceeds the...
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Good news/bad news. Successful surgery but an uncertain future.

February 2, 2015
Good news/bad news.  Successful surgery but an uncertain future.

It was touch-and-go to get to Dak Ta’ock where we hoped to meet up with Palungin and his father. It was miles of bad road and hours of miserable weather; mud nearly to the running boards and a constant, cold drizzle. I wouldn’t have faulted our driver if he had simply announced, “Enough is...
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