Meanwhile... in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a charity searches for homes or useful employment for dogs who find mines

And in Armenia, all children between the ages of 6 and 8 receive compulsory chess lessons, making Armenia the first country in the world to include chess in its national curriculum, while in Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso, African choreographer Aguibou Sanou has been bringing dance to prison.

Reuters/File
Bomb-sniffing dog Sa Sa works in Cambodia.

In Phnom Penh, Cambodia, some forgotten heroes badly need attention, says Yulia Khouri. Ms. Khouri, a Canadian expatriate now living in Cambodia, is talking about the country’s bomb-sniffing dogs.

Decades of conflict turned Cambodia into one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Since 1992, specially trained Belgian Malinois have been deployed to help find explosives buried in fields. 

But when the dogs are retired (usually by the age of 8 or 9) they are most often euthanized or sold for meat. 

“It’s really sad that there are hundreds of animals travelling the world to find explosives after wars and saving lots of lives, then here’s the thanks we give them,” Khouri told the South China Morning Post. 

That’s why she has now established Home of Heroes, a charity dedicated to finding homes or useful employment for the dogs after they leave the minefields.

In Armenia, all children between the ages of 6 and 8 receive compulsory chess lessons, making Armenia the first country in the world to include chess in its national curriculum. 

Armenia has a deep chess culture and – with a population of only 3 million – boasts one of the world’s highest numbers of chess grandmasters per capita.

Chess teaches children good behavior and strategic thinking, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan told the BBC. “I think this is a great benefit for society as a whole.” 

In Fada N’Gourma, Burkina Faso, African choreographer Aguibou Sanou has been bringing dance to prison.

For half a year now he’s been giving lessons in African and modern dance to inmates in Bobo Diolasso prison. The dance students recently gave a recital for their fellow prisoners.

“Some people have been here for a very long time,” one inmate told Africa News. “There are people serving five to ten years in prison, but with this pleasure, I think it’s better.” 

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