Giving Tuesday 2017: Help Friends Without A Border Save Children's Lives
EVENT DATE: Nov 28, 2017
A Small Gift From You
Can Mean a Long Life For Them…
Friends Without A Border builds and operates free children’s hospitals in Southeast Asia. It is 100 percent privately funded, so we rely on your donations to keep children alive and healthy. Your generosity enables FWAB to operate its latest project: a 30+ bed hospital in Laos that now treats an average of 100 children a day. The facility includes a surgical suite, a neonatal unit, outpatient services, 24/7 emergency services, a thalassemia clinic, a developmental clinic for disabled children and a community outreach program. We are the only children’s hospital in all of northern Laos. They have nowhere else to turn.
Your donation is critically important because the situation is harrowing:
- One out or every 15 Laotian children dies before their fifth birthday.
- Nearly half of all Lao children are afflicted with stunted growth because of malnutrition and intestinal infections, such as diarrhea.
- More than 40 percent of Lao children suffer from anemia and a related blood disease called thalassemia.
Friends Without A Border – Our Inspirational Story
Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said in a very emotional monologue this year, “No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It shouldn’t happen. Not here.”
Our story began in 1993, when acclaimed photographer Kenro Izu journeyed to Cambodia for a photo shoot of the Angkor Wat monuments. He encountered numerous ill and malnourished children during his travels, but was particularly pained by their plight after witnessing the death of a 7-year-old girl whose father couldn’t afford the $2 for medicine that would have saved her life.
Kenro decided to personally take action.
Within the next two years, he had founded the nonprofit Friends Without A Border, which immediately launched an effort to open a free pediatric hospital in Cambodia. In 1999, FWAB opened the Angor Hospital for Children.
The facility has treated more than 1.6 million children and trained more than 5,000 medical professionals since then. It embarked upon a mission to provide free world-class health care and teach local health care workers how to provide this quality of care so they could eventually run the hospital. In 2013, Friends accomplished this goal and handed the key to the hospital over to a local nonprofit and used their successful blueprint to start a second hospital.
In 2015, Friends opened its second free children’s hospital – in Luang Prabang, Laos. It is the only children’s hospital in northern Laos. The Lao Friends Hospital for Children has treated more than 40,000 children to date.
Your Money is Well-Spent and Makes a Difference in Both the Short and Long Term
We are truly efficient. We’re providing free, high-quality health care on a hospital budget of about $1.4 million. How do we do this?
Well, money goes far in Laos and we use ex-pat staff and volunteers from the world’s finest medical institutions to not only treat children but to train doctors, nurses and other health care providers. They are also teaching parents how to raise healthier children and protect them from lifelong health problems.
These reduced-salary staff and volunteers account for about $2 million worth of free services. This means your money works much harder as well. It also means that you are saving lives today as well as teaching others how to be world-class medical professionals. They will go on to work all over the region which will result in long-term change and affect the lives of millions.
What Your Generosity Can Do
No gift is too small
- A $25 gift provides Vitamin B1 injections to more than 50 children and their mothers to protect them from contracting beriberi, which can cause heart failure in extreme cases.
- A $50 gift covers the typical expenses for a child’s overnight stay at the hospital.
- A $100 gift covers one day of diagnostic laboratory costs (rapid test kits, test tubes and related supplies) for as many as 20 children.
- A $250 gift allows LFHC’s Outpatient Pharmacy to dispense antibiotics, de-worming treatments and other medications to approximately 150 children.
- A $500 provides Vitamin B1 injections to more than 700 children.
- A $1,000 gift allows us to reach out and provide medical services and preventative education to 75 families living in villages with no access to transportation.
- A $2,500 gift provides breastfeeding and nutrition support for 250 women at our Neonatal Unit.
- A $5,000 gift finances more than 50 life-saving surgeries.
- A $10,000 gift covers the cost of 600-800 outpatients, including prescriptions, or the costs of sponsoring two new nurses for one year, including training.
A Few of Examples of the Human Impact
Baby May* is an incredible example of the importance of our outreach work. Our outreach team ﬁrst met May last year, when they noticed a very underweight and malnourished baby while visiting another patient in her village. May was brought to LFHC, where she was examined, provided nutritional supplements, and where she gained her weight and color back each day. In the aftermath of May’s recovery, our outreach team has helped her parents maintain sustainable sources of food on their property. Thanks to LFHC, baby May continued to grow healthy and recently welcomed her first birthday. May’s parents were so grateful. May is their ﬁrst child out of eight to survive beyond infancy. *Name was changed to protect her privacy.
A 10-year-old Khmu girl arrived at the hospital with a respiratory illness that was worsening despite receiving three days of treatment at her district hospital. Both of her lungs had been affected and she hadn’t responded to antibiotics as expected. Beside himself, her father pulled her out of the district hospital and brought her to Friends. By the end of her ﬁrst full day in LFHC, regular oxygen therapy was not enough to maintain her blood oxygen levels. To ﬁx this dilemma, the staff enlisted our volunteer biomedical engineer to devise a way to connect multiple oxygen supplies to the ventilator. He creatively connected two oxygen concentrators to the device using extra tubing, zip ties and a hot glue gun, and connected a third one directly to the mask at the patient’s face. This engineered system was just enough to keep her blood oxygen at an acceptable level. She was given medications to treat infections, remove ﬂuid from her lungs, and reduce inﬂammation. After five tense days, she recovered the ability to breathe on her own and was released to her overjoyed parents.
The Swiss Red Cross brought not one – but FIVE – tiny babies to our hospital’s emergency room: two sets of twins and a single boy. The smallest weighed only 2.42 pounds and the largest almost 6.6 pounds, each of them with a variety of medical conditions. An unexpected event like this would have stretched any hospital. But we are the only facility in the Northern Province that has a fully-trained neonatal staff and the necessary equipment, so we were completely prepared to handle this type of emergency. In the next few hours, our staff ensured that each baby received excellent medical care with appropriate blood tests and X-Rays, oxygen, intravenous lines, nasogastric tubes, ﬂuids and antibiotics. Jaundice, infections, low blood sugars, and seizures were treated thoroughly over the next few days. The babies showed dramatic improvement, increased their weight and were able to feed well by the end of their stay. Despite the fact that having ﬁve newborns at once was an enormous challenge for the staff, the families of the newborns were incredibly pleased with the compassionate quality care given to all of their children by LFHC.