Laos: Where the bombs fell like raindrops

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in the world, per capita.

During the Vietnam War the people of Laos found themselves in horrifying danger as, day after day, week after week, year after year, planeloads of bombs were dropped on the country. The bombings were largely an attempt to disrupt movement along the Ho Chi Minh trail which was used by the North Vietnamese as a key supply route. 

Older citizens of Laos speak of the bombs falling like raindrops. Many people retreated to caves for safety, only coming out at night to find food.

This unspeakable situation went on for nine years.

Hundreds of thousands of unexploded bombs remain in the ground even to this day. We have to get to every one before a child does. 

A gift from you now can do twice as much.

Give before the 24th July and your donation will be doubled by the UK government.

MAG teams unlock the land so children and families can live free from fear and rebuild their lives and livelihoods. 

Our vision is for a Laos where women, girls, boys and men live free from the fear and danger of unexploded bombs, where fear is not a barrier to people taking control of their futures.

“The planes dropped bombs on our village like raindrops.”

Ms Khambor, Khangou

Vangkhom School

What could be so dangerous in a school playground? 

Like in many similar villages in Laos, in Vangkhom, unexploded bombs lay hidden in and around the playground, waiting to be picked up, kicked, detonated.

Last year, after two boys found yet another bomb next to the school grounds, one of MAG’s teams dedicated time to working in the school playground, making it safer for the children. The teachers have lost no time in making the most of the opportunity – the children have grown and harvested vegetables, and work on a new kitchen is underway.

It’s a wonderful milestone for Vangkhom, but the level of contamination is so great that even now bombs are still being found close to the school, and the 10-minute walk from the village is still riddled with hidden dangers.

In March 2022, more bombs were found just outside the school grounds – hidden from view but still deadly. More clearance work is urgently needed to make sure the children are safe. 

Help the children of Vangkhom play in safety. Give before 24th July and your donation will be doubled by the UK government.

"Before clearance we worried about the bombs. Our teacher was not confident to let us make a garden in the school. But now the school is cleared, my friends and I are happy because we can make the garden, without the fear of bombs."

Noud, Vangkhom Village School