Eating Pho Can Save Lives. Fact.

By Sarah Tavener, Mines Advisory Group Fundraising Manager

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Since July 2015, customers at Tampopo have been raising money for MAG (Mines Advisory Group) simply by enjoying a bowl of delicious Vietnamese Pho.

Every time a Pho is ordered, Tampopo donates 50p to MAG, and so far staff and customers have helped raised well over £3,000!

This money is being used to remove unexploded landmines and bombs from the world’s poorest communities in South and South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East, that have been affected by war. MAG is currently operational in 15 countries, including Vietnam – from where the famous Pho noodle soup originates.

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More than 16 million people have been helped by MAG since the organisation was founded in 1989. The work we do means children can go to school safely, people are able to grow crops and feed their families, and whole communities have the opportunity to rebuild their lives, livelihoods and futures.

As well as removing potentially fatal landmines and bombs, we also give desperately needed ‘risk education’, to reduce the threat of death or injury and help vulnerable people keep themselves safe until the land can be cleared. These safety sessions are quite simply the most important lessons that people living in conflict affected areas will ever receive.

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I have been employed by Manchester-based MAG for just under 14 years, and passionately believe in the life-changing work that we do. My job as a fundraiser is varied – I get to work with MAG supporters like Tampopo staff, who are already committed and enthusiastic about how they can help. I also get to talk to new potential supporters every day – people who might have never heard about MAG. I never get bored of telling people about the amazing work that we do and learning about how they would like to get involved in helping to give communities a chance to get on with their lives and get back their futures, free from fear.

Ha is fertilizing her paddies

Tampopo began supporting MAG after seeing us in operation in South East Asia, helping people like Ha, who lives in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province with her husband and three children. Their village was heavily bombed during the war and these deadly objects still litter the land where they live and farm. Like many other people, Ha relies on growing rice for their livelihood, but the threat of death, or injury, from the unexploded bombs makes this extremely risky.

Recently, MAG cleared the village where Ha lives, and she told us: “We are very relieved and confident now to dig deeper into the soil. We hope to grow and sell more rice and the additional income will help us to pay for our cost of living, and our children’s schooling.”

We’re extremely grateful to Tampopo, and its customers, for their continued support: you are transforming the lives of men, women and children just by choosing noodle soup from the menu!

cảm ơn bạn! (THANK YOU!)

Learn more about MAG at www.maginternational.org or get in touch with the fundraising team by calling 0161 236 4311, or emailing fundraising@maginternational.org 

There are lots of ways to get involved which are (almost) as fun as eating, such as setting up a fundraising event or simply donating so that MAG can help more people around the world build a better, safer future for themselves.

black and white images (c) MAG/Sean Sutton