What We Do:
At Friends Without A Border, we promote sustainable solutions to healthcare 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 healthcare 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 in front of his very eyes, simply because her father could not afford $2, Kenro decided to take action and give back to the very country that inspired his photographic journey.
Friends was founded 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 1.6 million children, trained hundreds 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 Izu 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 11th, 2015 Friends celebrated the grand opening of a new pediatric hospital in Luang Prabang, Laos called Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC). On opening day, the staff of LFHC treated 47 children in the Outpatient Department, and have seen an average of 55 children each day since.
In the first year of operations, LFHC treated nearly 20,000 children – offering Outpatient, Inpatient, Emergency Room, Pharmacy, Laboratory, and Radiology services. 2016 marks the opening of the Neonatal Unit, as well as the Surgical Theater, which greatly expands the reach of services available to provide for 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
One millionth patient treated at AHC
AHC becomes an independent self-managed hospital
Ground breaking ceremony for Lao Friends Hospital for Children
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
Outpatient Services Begin at LFHC
10,000th patient treated 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