The COPE Visitor Centre in Vientiane is not a typical tourist attraction, but we still highly recommend a visit. Since its establishment in 1996, COPE provides nationwide physical rehabilitation services for people with mobility-related disabilities. Among those people, there are also UXO survivors. The term refers to people who became victims of unexploded ordnance like landmines. In most cases, they don’t have the money for prosthetic or orthotic services. COPE provides those services free of charge, allowing victims to regain mobility and live a better life.
Where is the COPE Visitor Centre located?
You can find the COPE Visitor Centre on Khouvieng Road on the grounds of the Centre for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR). If you have problems communicating with your driver show a few pictures or let him take a look at this map.
Attractions at the COPE Visitor Centre
In addition to exhibitions on the history of UXO and how it affects the lives of people in Laos, the COPE Visitor Center offers a few other attractions.
In the Cave Cinema which resembles an underground bunker, you can watch short documentaries about COPE and its work. Also, you’ll learn more about UXO and how Laos suffered from the Vietnam War. In the Karma Cafe, you can enjoy fair-trade coffee and tasty ice cream. There’s also a gift shop with books, coffee, postcards, keychains, shirts, and other souvenirs.
How much is the entrance fee?
There’s no entrance fee for the COPE Visitor Centre, but since the organization helps disabled people free of charge they rely on donations.
If you want to support the cause, just spend some cash in the Karma Cafe or directly donate some money. The preferred currency is dollars, but other currencies are also welcome.
If you’re interested in
this topic and you want more information regarding COPE and its work,
we can recommend the official website of the organization. There
you can also find stories of patients or famous visitors. Did you
know that even important personalities like Barack Obama, Noeleen
Heyzer and John Baird visited the COPE Visitor Centre?