COPE or Cooperative Orthotic & Prosthetic Enterprise is the source of walking aids, wheelchairs, and artificial limb in Laos. The main mission of COPE is helping people to move on. COPE make their mission into action by providing physical rehabilitation services. They are also focus on people who have a mobility-related disabilities. Main things that they provide are assistive devices, physiotherapy, orthotic devices, related surgical procedures, clubfoot treatment and prosthetic devices. COPE Visitor Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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Learning about UXO
UXO or unexploded ordnance is explosive bombs that are failed to detonate when they were launched, fired or dropped. UXO can be in a form of grenade, large bombs, mortars, artillery munitions, and other forms of explosive weapons. After the Vietnam War, the land of Laos has been littered by UXO. UXO is also the reason why COPE was born. Since there are so many people being the victim of exploding UXO, COPE decided to take care of them by giving them what they need. Take the tour to COPE and give yourself an educational trip there.
The Cave Cinema
Wanted to get more knowledge about UXO? Put The Cave Cinema inside your tour itineraries. The Cave Cinema was built to resemble one of the bunkers that Laotian warriors used in the war. Inside The Cave Cinema, there are some documentaries about UXO and COPE that you can choose to watch. If you are interested, ask one of the staff in COPE Visit Center about the schedule and enjoy the films.
Walk in the Museum
This educational trip would not be complete if you are not visiting the museum in COPE Visitor Center. The tour inside the museum will make you discover how the Vietnam War affected the daily life in Laos, see the efforts of Laotian people fight for their independence, and learn the reasons behind why COPE was born. Inside the museum, you will also see the model of bombs that were spread around Laos.
Learn about Orthotic & Prosthetic
The main things that are provided by COPE are orthotic and prosthetic devices. As what have said before, after the terrific bombings in 1960 there are uncountable UXO around Laos. Nowadays, the victim of these UXO are ordinary people who were unfortunately working or just playing around their house not knowing what is laying under the ground. That's why there are so many people who got their foot amputate in Laos. Orthotic device is a device to improve person's mobility and prevent further things that can happen by supporting and correcting the weak part. While prosthetic device is a device to replace a body part. COPE decided to provide devices to make the victim of UXO become able to walk again.
Hungry after your long walks in the visitor center? Do not worry about leaving the place in a hungry situation. This cafe will fill your hungry stomach with its delicious foods. The highlight thing from Karma Cafe is its ice cream. After your meals, if you want to have some desserts make sure that you order the special ice cream there. Also, all that you spend in this cafe will all be allocated to provide more orthotic and prosthetic devices.
Your friends asked you for some souvenirs when you back? Just straightly go to the gift shop inside the visitor center. There are plenty of things such as t-shirts, key chains, books, and even coffee that you can buy and bring to your friends. The same thing goes for the gift shop. All of your purchase here will be allocated to help COPE develop their rehabilitation services and provide more orthotic and prosthetic devices.
How to Get Tickets?
If you are planning in visiting Vientiane, especially COPE Visitor Center, you don't need to pay for the entrance fee. However, COPE Visitor Center will appreciate it if you give them some donations.
How To Get Around?
Vientiane is a city that is quite small. To get around Vientiane and COPE Visitor Center it is recommended to go by bicycle or simply go by foot. It is also recommended to take the tuk-tuk to get around the city. However, make sure that you get the best price of tuk-tuk since tuk-tuk's drivers usually ask for a high price towards foreigners.
What Should I Wear?
Laos is a country in Asia which has two seasons. It is always hot there, so make sure you wear something comfortable such as shorts and t-shirts. If you are going to the temple, pay attention on your clothes since you need to cover your arms and also your knees there.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Laos is when the weather is dry but not too hot. So, it is best to visit Laos in between October and April. If you are also planning to visit the river, it is best to visit it on November and January since the water levels get high at those months.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, transportation is easy and you can find anything for your tour on this site.
How To Get There?
To get to COPE Visitor Center from the heart of Vientiane city, you can go by car or bus. It will spend around eight minutes by car and 41 minutes by bus. Since the country of Laos is locked in the middle of other Southeast Asia's country, to get to the country it is only accessible by plane. If you are visiting Laos from Thailand, Myanmar, or Cambodia, then you can ride on a bus or car.
Since Laos is the based for the Buddhist, you need to always make sure about things that are related to their religion. You might encounter a statue which there are some flowers and incense around it. Make sure that you are not touching anything that has been put there.