Rosita Boland, a journalist for The Irish Times, teamed up with Mark Whiteside from the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) to visit UXO survivors in Xieng Khouang Province, the most heavily bombed province in Laos. Boland reflects on the disastrous effects of what is now referred to as the “Secret War,” in which the U.S. dropped 270 million bombs on Laos between 1964 and 1973, in order to prevent supplies being taken into Vietnam during the war between the communist north and the U.S.-backed south.
Boland visits UXO survivors Yeyang Yang and Khammeung Phommalein, whom World Education supported with medical compensation and peer-to-peer support. Of Yeyang, Boland writes: “Now Yang goes into other communities to share his story and support other survivors. A couple of years ago he would never have agreed to talk to a journalist, much less to be photographed. His courage and ability to adapt are heroic.”
To read more of Boland’s insightful, incredibly eloquent piece, please click here.