Fwd: Travel pool report #1

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Lee, Carol" >
Date: September 7, 2016 at 10:24:36 AM GMT+7
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel pool report #1

President Obama left his hotel in Vientiane at 10:15am. Motorcade, including a pickup truck full of armed Lao military men wearing rain gear, drove through the rain-soaked city. Arrived at Cooperative Orthodic and Prosthetic Enterprise event at 10:20am as the sun peeked out.

Background from White House on POTUS's event is below. Holding for pool spray.

Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE)/Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Event

The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) in Vientiane, receives U.S. government funding through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide persons with disabilities, including unexploded ordnance (UXO) survivors, access to prosthetic and rehabilitation services.  The United States is the largest international donor to the UXO sector in Laos and has provided over $100 million since 1993.

The Greeters and Briefers at COPE:

Ms.  Phayboun Bounlanh (COPE's Chief Executive Officer )

Mr. Todd Sorenson (USAID Regional Deputy Mission Director)

Mr. Bounpheng Sisawath  (National Regulatory Authority Deputy Director)

Mr. Bounkong Sihavong (Laos Ministry of Health Director)

Mr. Thongphet Sitthvanh (Center of Medical Rehabilitation Deputy Director General).

While at COPE the President met and receive a short briefs from the following individuals:

Mr. Soksai Sengvongkham, COPE Visitor Operations Manager, highlighted the work of COPE and explained the challenges persons with disabilities face and how the United States provides funding for the support to UXO survivors.

Mr. Thoummy Silamphan (UXO survivor) from the Quality of Life Association (QLA).  QLA is the first association in Laos dedicated to supporting UXO survivors and their families. Thoummy provided insights on the support QLA is providing to UXO survivors, success stories and challenges. QLA receives support from the United States.

The President toured a traditional Lao house model, highlighting COPE's outreach activities and rehabilitation services.

Mr. Thiphasone Soukhathammavong, Director of UXO Lao.  UXO Lao is the only Lao national UXO survey and clearance operator. UXO Lao was created in 1996 with support from the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF and works in the nine most heavily UXO contaminated provinces. The President met UXO Lao de-miners.

Carol Lee
The Wall Street Journal

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