COPE Laos (Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise)


Rally Indochina rider with a Blue Dragon Children's Foundation flag
Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation is a Hanoi-based charity. It helps children escape slavery and forced labour, and provides housing, employment and education.


COPE Since 1996

Since its foundation in 1996, the Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) has assisted thousands of people with mobility-related problems, including UXO (unexploded ordinance) survivors.

UXO (Unexploded Ordnance)

inside the COPE Laos museum
a selection of COPE's prosthetics
Since bombing missions ended in 1973, over 20,000 people in Laos have been killed or injured by UXO incidents. Many are amputees who require medical, rehabilitative, and social care for the rest of their lives.

Victims include children who mistake UXO for toys, farmers who accidentally detonate devices when striking the ground with farm tools, and families cooking meals outdoors when the heat from fires causes UXO to explode.

UXO survivors make up nearly one-third of COPE’s prosthesis patients.

COPE helps people with disabilities access orthotic and prosthetic devices, quality treatment and rehabilitation programs, which improves their capacity to participate in their communities and improves their quality of life.

COPE runs a mobile clinic that assesses new patients in regional and remote areas, repairs prosthetics, advises on stump and device care, distributes devices like crutches, provides physiotherapy assessments and advice, and refers patients to rehabilitation centres as needed.

Cope Laos in Vientiane

COPE's premises in Laos
In Vientiane, the COPE Visitor Centre hosts a permanent exhibition of videos, photography, and sculptures that explain the deadly impact that cluster bombs and UXO have had on Laos.
Picture of Digby Greenhalgh

By Digby Greenhalgh

Digby Greenhalgh is the founder of Explore Indochina, and a recognized expert on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. All motorcycle tours are designed and guided by Digby.