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Not just any rat, but a HeroRat.

WTF is a HeroRat?

They are land mine and tuberculosis detection critters. From the home page of the organization which trains and deploys them, APOPO.

Mine Detection
APOPO’s trained Mine Detection Rats (MDRs) provide a cheap, efficient and effective solution to the global landmine problem. The framework for all of APOPO’s mine action support is to develop and utilize appropriate and efficient land release methodology that will enhance the work of APOPO and potential partner organizations.

Tuberculosis detection
APOPO offers second-line screening to our partner hospitals, which has increased new case detection rates in partner hospitals and DOT centers by over 30 percent. Our detection rats technology meets the seven top priorities required for a diagnostic method, as determined by the TB diagnostic group of the World Health Organization.

Ranked among the world's top NGOs, APOPO aims for social transformation using innovation. While solving pressing humanitarian challenges we assist our communities by developing skills, creating jobs, improving socio-economic and environmental conditions, releasing land for development, and combating public health issues.

So instead of giving my friends and relatives “things” (they are all established and well enough off to have all the “things” they need or want), I have adopted a HeroRat in their names. It’s easy. Just visit APOPO’s adopt a HeroRat page, fill out the form and set up a payment option. I set up a 5 Euro a month adoption deal (about $7 US), comes out of my Credit Union account automatically.
When you adopt a rat, you will be supporting APOPO's HeroRATs who are saving lives in the real world. We will take you through your rat's development and training in real time, through to graduation where you can choose if your rat becomes a fully operational HeroRAT in TB Screening or Landmine Detection.

We'll keep you informed of your rat's development along the way, and its REAL WORLD impact through your personalized myapopo wall, where you'll receive badges as your rat progresses and see what impact your rat is having when it becomes operational.

I made a gift card with the info on HeroRats and it goes under the tree.

If rats make you squeamish, you might consider some other non-profit or NGO to donate to in someone’s name instead of new underwear or the latest gadget. Add your favorites in the comments if you wish.

APOPO has a  Facebook page if any of you want to “Like” it.

It takes at least 5 kg to set off a mine. Rats weigh at most 2.5 kg.
They have never lost one to a mine.

I’ve written several diaries on these little life savers, if you want to visit them.

Quit Dissing Rats. They're Heroes

So next time you call someone a rat, think twice.
We got that rat.
Last week at our monthly business meeting, members of Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 voted to adopt a HeroRat.
I'm so proud I could cry
Ziko has graduated from Land mine detection school!
Ziko, my Hero has died
Just received an email from APOPO, the home of HeroRATs, and now I'm a little choked up. Who would have thought the loss of a little rat on the other side of the world could start this old cynic weeping.

Ziko working a mine field.

The life saving power of bananas. Unbelievable but true.

Its true! If there's one thing HeroRATs love, its bananas.

Obama's a Rat

Its true, in fact he just became a proud father of two baby girl HeroRATs!

We have baby news! One recent rainy morning, we received a bit of sunshine from a pair of proud parents-papa Obama and mama Shana. Shana gave birth to a lovely set of twin female pups. There were plenty of celebratory bananas and peanuts all around!

Originally posted to Bend Over Here It Comes Again on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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