A museum well worth a visit, close to the centre of Vientiane. Take the time to visit COPE’s free exhibition where you will learn about the unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmine problem in Laos, and the work done to help people affected by UXOs.
What to experience ?
The COPE Visitor Centre consists of a free permanent exhibition, gift shop and café. It was created to provide you with an opportunity to raise awareness about the project, which supports the development of rehabilitation services throughout Lao PDR, and as a means to raise funds to support the activities of COPE. One of the main focuses of the exhibition is on the incidence and impact of cluster bombs and unexploded ordnances (UXO) in Laos. There is also a gift shop and a café.
Within the exhibition you will observe a range of displays using a variety of mediums, including photography, video and sculpture, as well as interactive displays and other installations.
The COPE Visitor Centre provides tourists with an opportunity to learn about the recent history of Laos, which many people are unaware of before coming to the country. The Visitor Centre also provides an opportunity to expose tourists to the challenges facing people with disabilities, because they are able to hear and read stories about their experiences through the various installations.
Whilst the topic matter is somewhat challenging, the Visitor Centre has a positive atmosphere, presenting tourists with information about how action is being taken and how they can make a positive contribution to the lives of people with disabilities. This can be done by telling other people, donating, or buying gifts such as unique T-shirts, bags, mugs, books, or by buying a brick to build the artificial wall of the office.
How does it help ?
The COPE Visitor Centre has the objective of providing orthotic/prosthetic devices to the Lao government and to patients. COPE helps considerably by assisting people with disabilities and funding their treatment and rehabilitation within the community.
The COPE Visitor Centre provides a mechanism through which COPE can generate funds to support access to quality treatment and rehabilitation services. COPE generates these funds by collecting donations and selling merchandise. All profits from the Visitor Centre go to support the costs associated with patient treatment. This includes: transportation, accommodation and meal costs; costs associated with treatment and rehabilitation; and the cost of manufacturing prosthetic or orthopaedic devices required by patients.
In covering the costs of these services, the COPE Visitor Centre increases the capacity of disabled people to improve their own mobility, which in turn increases their capacity for self reliance by not feeling like a burden any more, and gives them opportunities for economic development. The COPE Visitor Centre also provides people with disabilities the chance to contribute to their own welfare by creating merchandise, which is sold through the gift shop.
COPE: Located within the National Rehabilitation Centre, Vientiane