We believe every child has the right to a healthy and loving life.

We act on our belief by providing free, compassionate medical care to children in Southeast Asia, by creating health education programs and by training local health care professionals.

What We Do:

At Friends Without A Border, we promote sustainable solutions to health care in developing countries through the model of Treatment + Education + Prevention by:

            Providing high-quality medical care to children in a compassionate environment;

            Educating families and health care professionals throughout Southeast Asia;

           Improving the health, nutrition and hygiene of local communities through outreach programs and home care.

Our Story

World-renowned Japanese photographer Kenro Izu first visited Cambodia in 1993 to photograph the Angkor Wat temples. During his travels, he often encountered ill and malnourished children, many missing arms and legs — a horrific legacy of America’s conflict in Vietnam. After witnessing a young girl die, simply because her father could not afford $2 for medical care, Kenro decided to take action and give back to the country that inspired his photographic journey.

In 1996, he founded Friends Without A Border, a nonprofit organization with the mission to provide compassionate medical care to children in Southeast Asia. After years of planning and gathering support from donors, photographers and friends around the world, Friends Without A Border opened Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Since that time, AHC has treated nearly 2 million children, trained thousands of health-care professionals and was deemed “one of only three essential health-care institutions” in the entire country by a Cambodian health minister.

In January of 2013, Friends Without A Border celebrated a long-held goal as Kenro handed over a heart-shaped “key to the hospital” to the dedicated staff of AHC, thus transferring the administration of the hospital to local management. At the same time, Friends decided to expand its mission of helping the children of Southeast Asia into another country: Laos.

On February 11, 2015, Friends opened the doors to a new pediatric hospital: Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC), in Luang Prabang. On opening day, the staff of LFHC treated 47 children in its Outpatient Department. In its first year of operation, LFHC treated nearly 20,000 children. In 2016, the hospital opened a Neonatal Unit, as well as a Surgical Theater, which greatly expanded the reach of services available to children in Laos. Today, the hospital staff sees more than 100 children each day. Visit LFHC to learn more.


Kenro Izu first visits Cambodia to photograph the Angkor temples and witnesses the suffering of Cambodian children on subsequent trips.


Friends Without A Border founded in New York and Tokyo

Land for Angkor Hospital for Children granted by Governor of Siem Reap


Medical training begins


Angkor Hospital for Children opens


Capacity Building and Health Education Program (CBHEP) begins in Cambodia


His Excellency, Prime Minister Samduch Hun Sen attends Inauguration of Medical Education Center.


AHC is officially recognized as a teaching hospital and its land guaranteed by a 50-year agreement with the Cambodian Ministry of Health


Former US President Bill Clinton visits and tours AHC


AHC Satellite Clinic opens in the Sot Nikum District


Ground-breaking ceremony for Lao Friends Hospital for Children


One millionth patient treated at AHC


AHC becomes an independent self-managed hospital


Baseline Medical Survey (BMS) begins in Luang Prabang province, Laos


Medical and English language training begins for LFHC staff


Kenro Izu receives World of Children Award


Lao Friends Hospital for Children opens


10,000th patient treated at LFHC


Outpatient Services begin at LFHC


Friends Without A Border celebrates its 20th Anniversary and names Yo-Yo Ma as Goodwill Ambassador


Surgery Department & Neonatal Unit open at LFHC


Thalassemia Clinic and Developmental Clinic open at LFHC


LFHC Neonatal Unit expands and moves into former children’s ward at Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital.


LFHC surpasses 100,000 treatments to children in northern Laos since opening its doors in 2015. One-third of all those cases happened in 2019, making it the busiest year in the history of the hospital


Staff doctors participated in a one-year Child Health Foundation Course. Upon passing the course, they will begin a new three-year Certificate of Pediatrics program, which will be comparable to a pediatric residency.