Every year, our organization, like many others, donates money to a viable and worthwhile cause. Let’s not kid ourselves, not all the reasons for these donations are altruistic. They are done for several reasons: they make good business and marketing sense and increase our corporate social responsibility profile. But whatever the reason, overall I still think it makes good sense.
In addition, every year my boss comes up with the most novel causes to donate to. This year was the most novel of all: HeroRAT.org. And I was quite impressed!
The HeroRAT project is the work of an organization called APOPO, an acronym from the Dutch Anti-Persoonsmijnen Ontmijnende ProductOntwikkeling, meaning Anti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development.
The donation goes toward adopting a rat (they’ve all got names like Tyson, Kim and Ziko) to support HeroRAT’s work which is to carry out de-mining, disease detection and other research—using the little critters I am most afraid of!
Why rats? There are ten reasons, number three being rats are light (1.5 kg or less). They will not trip off mines when they stand on them (it typically takes 5 kg to set off a landmine).
The creation of a full-fledged HeroRAT takes time and a great deal of training. After completing their pre-training, each rat moves on to further training and work in one of three disciplines at HeorRATs: landmine detection, tuberculosis (TB) screening or further research into de-mining and land release with their Remote Explosives Scent Training (REST) program.
A couple of facts and stats:
APOPO has returned 1,312,027 square metres of land to the population since the start of their operations. In 2009, APOPO found and neutralized 169 mines, 181 unexploded ordinances and 3,871 small arms and ammunition.
On average, a person with undetected TB infects 10–15 people each year so APOPO estimates that its work helped to prevent 9,300 TB transmissions just last year. The rats detected 620 tuberculosis patients.
Through a donation, your organization or firm can be a part of eradicating the dangers posed by landmines and curbing the spread of tuberculosis. The donations ensure that HeroRATs can continue their important work.
It is a novel but very worthwhile holiday firm donation idea!