Monday, December 7, 2015

Introducing our charity project: Apopo's Hero Rats

Starting the next meetup, you might see a little collection bag going around. This is for our adopted charity: Apopo, and their Hero Rat programme. Apopo is a Belgian-based NGO that train rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis in Africa and Southeast Asia. It sounds quirky and strange, but they've been effective for over 20 years now.

I visited the Mine Detection Rat programme last week in Cambodia to see the rats in action. Here is a video of them detecting explosives under the ground as part of their training:

Rats are often thought of as pests, but they are also very clever and sociable animals. Also, they are rather cute!

The money collected during meals will go towards Apopo. The money will either used to sponsor the training of a rat (or rats), or given directly to the Mine Detection Rat programme in Cambodia to offset their operating costs of approximately USD$160,000 a year. In the interests of transparency, I will post a tally of the collections during every post-meal report.

Again, this is not obligatory. The main aim of this group is to discover new foods and to make new friends. I do not work for Apopo or intend to turn this group into a fund-raising vehicle. Give some spare change if you want to, or not if you aren't inclined.

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