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;
Providing continuing education to health care professionals throughout Southeast Asia and stimulating research to develop sound health care practices;
Improving the health, nutrition and hygiene of local communities through outreach programs and homecare.
World-renowned Japanese photographer Kenro Izu first visited Cambodia in 1993 to photograph the Angkor Wat monuments. During his travels, he often encountered ill and malnourished children, many missing arms and legs due to landmines and other unexploded ordnances. 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.
He founded Friends in 1996 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 opened Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Since that time, AHC has treated over 1.7 million children, trained thousands of healthcare professionals, and is considered “one of only three essential healthcare institutions” in the entire country as stated by a Cambodian Health Minister.
Opened with just an Outpatient Department, AHC has grown to a full service hospital that includes: Inpatient & Outpatient Departments, Low Acuity Unit, Emergency Room, Triage, Intensive Care Unit, Surgery Ward, Heart Surgery, Dental Clinic, Eye Clinic, and a Satellite Clinic in the Sot Nikum District of Cambodia. To learn more about the treatment we provide in Cambodia, visit Treatment.
In January of 2013, Friends and AHC celebrated a long-held goal as Kenro handed over a green, heart-shaped “key to the hospital” to the passionate and dedicated staff of AHC, transitioning Angkor Hospital for Children to 100% 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 celebrated the grand opening of a new pediatric hospital, Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC), in Luang Prabang. On opening day, the staff of LFHC treated 47 children in the Outpatient Department. Currently, they see more than 100 children each day.
In its first year of operation, LFHC treated nearly 20,000 children — offering Outpatient, Inpatient, Emergency Room, Pharmacy, Laboratory, and Radiology services. In 2016, we opened the Neonatal Unit, as well as the Surgical Theater, which greatly expanded the reach of services available to children in Laos. Visit Laos 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
Inauguration of Medical Education Center attended by His Excellency, Prime Minister Samduch Hun Sen
AHC is officially recognized as an official 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 awarded 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 Probang Provincial Hospital.