In the photo above: "Manixia Thor (left) and a member of her all women's bomb clearance team head into the field to clear unexploded ordnance in the Lao countryside." In April, Manixia is on a speakers' tour in the US, focused on the urgent need for funding of bomb clearance and survivor assistance efforts in Laos.
As a bomb clearance technician and the leader of an all-women's bomb clearance team in Laos, Manixia Thor has one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Unexploded ordnance removal is perilous and the days are long, but she knows that her work clearing bombs will make Laos safer for her two-year-old son and for future generations.
For nearly ten years, millions of bombs rained down on the tiny country of Laos, making it the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings ended 40 years ago this year, but more than 20,000 Laotians have been killed or injured by decades-old ordnance that litter the otherwise beautiful landscape.
With support from the U.S. Department of State, Manixia and Thoummy Silamphan, a Laotian bomb accident survivor and victim assistance advocate, will be touring the United States on a speakers tour with the U.S.-based group LEGACIES OF WAR to raise awareness about the unexploded ordnance issue in Laos and the urgent need for further funding of clearance and survivor assistance efforts.
(thanks, James Hathaway)