The Information about COPE
COPE represents for Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. It is a local non-profit organization formed in 1997. It helps Lao people with physical disabilities with clinical treatment and rehabilitation programmes to develop independence and become an active member of society. Its slogan is “helping people move on”. This organization cooperates with the government National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) and is given financial assistance from international or private groups. It makes prosthetic legs and funds the manufacturing of orthotic devices as well as travelling and accommodation costs for all patients. The majority of patients are children living in rural areas and not having enough health care. It also provides particular services for children, housing and schooling for young victims whose families cannot take care. Beside a COPE headquarter in Vientiane, there are some centres in other provinces to serve patients easily.
COPE Centre in Vientiane, Laos
Highlights of COPE Centre
A sculpture at the entrance to the centre was made from 500kg of metal from bomb casings and other ordinance. The statue is dedicated to all those who were injured, lost lives and lovers.
The sculpture at the entrance of COPE Centre
It is known that Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) cause injuries for thousands of Laotians. When visitors come into the centre, the first items you see are bombies dangling from the ceiling. It remains for all about the reason for a large number of deaths and disabilities victims. In addition, the problems of UXO in Laos are displayed in an exhibition here. There is a movie room with several documentaries films about the history of the bombings in Laos such as Bomb Harvest, Bombies, Deadly Harvest. Lao people recycled pieces of destroyed munitions to create items like cooking pots, knives and rice cookers.
Bombies dangling from the ceiling
Cooking pot displayed in COPE Centre
Moreover, in COPE workshop, tourists can watch how to make prosthetic legs from polypropylene, a highly durable but low cost material.
Polypropylene prosthetic legs
One special thing of this centre is that the Karma Cafe and gift shop here are built from local bamboo. Having a break at Karma Cafe in a couple of minutes to enjoy a cup of Lao coffee or homemade ice cream. Visitors can buy T-shirts and postcards or simply make a donation for this organization at COPE gift shop. The proceeds of these two shops will be added to the fund of the project. Furthermore, the centre also lends bicycles for free for travellers to discover the capital of Vientiane.
Karma Cafe at COPE Centre
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
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