01 Aug 2014
One Day at a Time – Alexandra on the Bombie Trail is produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lao PDR in collaboration with the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA), the Lao National UXO Programme (UXO Lao) and the Lao New Wave Cinema Productions. The film is being launched today in Vientiane as part of an event to mark the fourth anniversary of the Convention on Cluster Munitions entering into force in 2010.
Lao singer Alexandra Bounxouei is starring in a new documentary film exploring the impacts of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Lao PDR.
It is estimated that some 80 million unexploded cluster munitions from the Indochina war remain in Laos.
“I was born 14 years after the war ended, and because I grew up in the capital city Vientiane I didn’t really understand what this legacy means and how it still affects the people in my country” explains Ms. Bounxoeui. “I was grateful to be given this chance to travel to Xieng Khuang, one of the most heavily bombed provinces in Laos, to learn more about it”.
The 17-minute film documents her journey as she visits a team of female deminers clearing a rice field, gets to detonate some UXOs, follows a mine risk education session for local children and meets with UXO survivors.
“I wanted to make this film so that more people in Laos and worldwide would learn about the UXO problem we have. I also wanted to encourage the UXO survivors to seek help - there are organisations that support UXO survivors and their families, helping them with medical costs and employment opportunities”, Ms. Bounxoeui says.
The film features Alexandra’s new song, The Sun will Shine Again, which she wrote and composed with Sam Intharaphithak based on her experiences in Xieng Khuang.
Alexandra Bounxoeui was appointed as UNDP’s Goodwill Ambassador for Lao PDR in 2013. In this role she is focusing her advocacy work on the UXO issues.
More than 20,000 people have been killed or injured by UXOs since the end of the war in 1973. To recognize the severity of the UXO problem in the country, Lao PDR has adopted a special Millennium Development Goal 9 to address the impact of UXO by 2020.
Lao PDR has played a significant role in campaigning for the worldwide ban of the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. To date, a total of 113 states have signed the Convention.
With help from donors, UNDP has supported the Government of Lao PDR in the UXO sector since 1996. The current donors to the programme include the governments of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, South Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom as well as the European Union.