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MAY 2010
Welcome to the May edition of the HeroRATs e-newsletter!

This month, we feature some exciting events: another great Skoll World
Forum event, brainstorming with changemakers; new pups in our breeding
department; a big HeroRAT adventure to WEF Africa, and a hands-on
demonstration for the Young Global Leaders; and a moment shared with the
President of Tanzania, Mr Kikwete!

It’s been a huge month! You can keep updated with all that’s happening
  throughout a HeroRATs week on Twitter or Facebook.
APOPO Founder Bart Weetjens,  
President of Tanzania Mr
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, and Founder & CEO attended Skoll World Forum
Training Supervisor at our TB
detection center Maureen Founder Bart Weetjens and CEO Christophe Cox attended the Skoll World
Jubitana, at WEF Africa. Forum on Social Entrepreneurship during April in Oxford, UK. The focus of
  the week was ‘catalysing collaboration for large scale change’, and one of
  the sessions the APOPO team found most valuable was a panel on
  Collaborative Leadership. This hands-on workshop allowed the group to look
  at ways to increase organizational effectiveness while at the same time
  maintaining an environment which values and supports changemakers.
  During their time at the forum, APOPO also met with the Skoll Foundation to
  present their latest progress report, as the recipient of a Skoll Award for
Social Entrepreneurship in 2009. The Skoll Awards for Social
Entrepreneurship recognize the most innovative and sustainable approaches
to resolving the most urgent social issues.

APOPO is well on track to achieving the objectives and deliverables outlined

initially, and was excited to receive the second instalment of their capacity
building grant from the Skoll Foundation. APOPO is privileged to be a part of
In April, APOPO Founder the Skoll community, and congratulates the Skoll Foundation for their
Bart Weetjens and CEO visionary leadership in offering unrestricted support for social enterprises.
Christophe Cox attended  
the Skoll World Forum on Social
Entrepeneurship to brainstorm World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Tanzania
ideas for large scale social
change. The World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa was held in Dar es Salaam,
  Tanzania, from May 5 – 7. The focus was of this year’s event was ‘rethinking
  Africa’s growth strategy’, and the result of the week’s meetings was a
  collective call to end the continent’s marginalization, and work towards
  changing Africa’s position within the global economy.
A highlight of the WEF week was a chance meeting with the President of
Tanzania, Mr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who has for a long time been a
  committed supporter of the HeroRATs’ work in the Great Lakes Region. In
  his previous role as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,
  Mr Kikwete was actively involved in helping to connect 11 countries in the
Great Lakes Region of Africa to APOPO. His input was invaluable, and they
subsequently endorsed APOPO as the lead agency for Mine Action in the

Founder of APOPO, Bart Weetjens, and Training Supervisor in our TB

detection center, Maureen Jubitana, shared a memorable moment with Mr
Kikwete at the Soirée on the evening of 6 May. Together they discussed the 
progress of APOPO’s work in Tanzania as well as expansion to other African
countries, and the President expressed his continued support for our work.
We are very grateful for Mr Kikwete’s positivity and vision to export
Tanzanian technology and skills to countries in need, in Africa and beyond.
His endorsement of our work will become even more important as
HeroRATs’ potential continues to grow.
Bart Weetjens with Prince Jaime  
Bernardo of Bourbon-Parma,
one of the Young Global HeroRATs meet a new generation of leaders at WEF Africa
Leaders who attended the
Mwananyamala Hospital 'impact Three of our tuberculosis detection rats, Ishengoma, Peter and Gaitan, had a
journey' to see our HeroRATs big adventure to Dar es Salaam recently as part of the World Economic
in action. Forum on Africa. The Young Global Leaders (YGLs) were in town for their
Annual Summit, and a group of 15 YGLs visited Mwananyamala Hospital on
3 May to learn more about the work APOPO’s HeroRATs are doing.

Mwananyamala is one of five DOTS centers in Dar es Salaam that our rats
currently provide a second-line screen for tuberculosis. The hospital was
  happy to host the YGL ‘Impact Journey’ with APOPO, where the visitors got
  the chance to learn about a local organization’s work and impact, and then
  brainstorm potential solutions to challenges faced by the organization.
APOPO Founder Bart Weetjens gave a presentation on the HeroRATs,
which was followed by a live demonstration of our heroes in action, sniffing
out tuberculosis. A fascinated audience included local medical students and
staff from Mwananyamala Hospital, who have been instrumental in assisting
with APOPO with our second-line screening program. The HeroRATs gave
an impressive display of their exceptional sniffing abilities, locating all of the
TB-positive samples and earning their banana rewards!

After the demonstration, there was plenty of lively discussion and the YGLs
later provided APOPO with their brainstormed ideas on strategic, marketing,
and funding challenges. They also expressed what ‘a truly eye-opening
experience’ the session was! The HeroRATs team was equally excited to be
able to share our work with the YGLs, and very appreciative of their
constructive feedback.
Keen to see our heroes in action for yourself? Take a look at clips of our
HeroRATs at work.

Breeding success
Our caretaker Albert keeps an Breeding a new generation of HeroRATs is no easy feat! Our Belgian
eye on two young HeroRATs, breeding expert, Dimitri, and caretaker, Albert, have been working hard to
getting to know their provide all kinds of new and different stimuli for the couples in our rat-
surroundings during their breeding program. New toys, extra play time, slow introductions, darker
socialization phase. This is kennels, a variety of tasty (hidden) food treats, the list goes on…
the important first step in our
rats' journey to become In the month of May, we welcomed 21 new HeroRAT pups, to be heard
HeroRATs! squeaking on a walk past the breeding kennels. Well done, breeding team!
  Dimitri says it’s difficult to tell whether the new stimuli may have had
  something to do with our recent ‘baby boom’, since our rats (Gambianus
  Cricetomys) are thought to be seasonal breeders with peaks during the rainy
  seasons (April-May and October-December). Also, the number of breeding
  couples has been expanded from 9 to 40 – a definite factor in our increased
  productivity in the breeding department!
  You can help us to continue developing our breeding program (and produce
  even more young HeroRATs) by making a contribution to the HeroRATs

Mine action in Mozambique

So far this year, our Mine Action team in Mozambique has cleared more than
183,640 square meters of land in the Gaza Province! Our HeroRATs have
found 92 landmines, and 23 explosive remnants of war.

Landmines pose a structural barrier to development and economic growth.

Each landmine found by a HeroRAT brings us another step closer towards
helping Mozambique become a mine-impact free country by 2014. And we’ll
shortly be sending an additional team of HeroRATs to help expand
If you missed out on your copy, operations there even further!
you can download the APOPO
2009 Annual Report from our Visit our website to learn more about our Mine Action Program in
website! Mozambique.
  2009 APOPO Annual Report
  All APOPO facts in a nutshell: If you missed out on reading the 2009 APOPO
  Annual Report, you can download it from the APOPO website. It includes an
  overview of all our developments, achievements and challenges of 2009,
  along with our organizational goals for 2010.
  Thanks for reading, and feel free to forward to a friend if you think they might
be interested in our work too!
Warm regards,
The HeroRATs team

A P O P O-SUA, PO Box 3078, Morogoro, Tanzania

HeroRAT is a campaign of APOPO

For more information please see or contact us at

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