The COPE center where we went yesterday was both interesting, instructional, and terrifying. The center is based around helping those injured by unexploded ordinance or UXO. It is also supposed to enlighten people to the struggles that the injured face and the tragedy that brought them there. There were two movies that we watched. One was about a man who was blinded and scarred for life after accidentally exploding a bomb while lighting a bonfire. The other was about an organization, one among many, called MAG. They went into the fields that farmers would work in and comb the area for bombs using metal detectors and remote detonators. After going through the museum, I feel as though now I am much more informed about the Vietnam War than I was before. One little paper impacted me the most.
Four children were killed and 3 were injured by some UXO that a 3 year old was playing with. The children bear the worst of the brunt of the explosives. As they are payed 2,000 kip (25 US cents) for each kilogram of scrap metal they bring in by the scrap shops, many kids are practically forced to pick up as much metal as they can to add a bit more to their family's income.
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