A Visit to APOPO – An Unusual yet Well Respected Organization

Students Learn about the Latest Science in Land Mine Detection

Last week Form Three students went on a very unique field trip. Pauline, Sega’s counselor and life skills teacher, organized a trip to visit APOPO, a training facility in Morogoro for rats (yes, rats!) where they learn to detect land mines and Tuberculosis. While this type of organization is far from ordinary, APOPO is ranked one of the top NGOs in the world and Morogoro and Belgium are the only places in the world where this research and training occurs. So needless to say, the girls were lucky that they were able to visit!

During the field trip the students were given a tour of the facilities and saw first hand how the rats were trained. APOPO uses positive reinforcement to teach the rats to detect explosives. Once the rats are successfully trained they are sent to countries all over the world to detect land mines.

The work that APOPO (and its rats) do is remarkable – not only do the rats save lives by detecting land mines but the organization also creates jobs for locals in Morogoro which in turn improves local socio-economic status throughout the area. The tour guide encouraged the SEGA girls to pursue science and consider a job with the organization. The tour guide also noted that APOPO needs more women on their team!

If you’d like to learn more about APOPO and its work in Morogoro and around the world you can visit their website here: http://www.apopo.org/en/