Friends Without A Border

General operating support

Friends Without A Border (FWAB) was founded in 1996 by New York-based, Japanese-born photographer Kenro Izu. FWAB runs two children’s hospitals: the Angkor Hospital for Children, opened in 1999, and the Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC), opened in 2015.

LFHC is a 30-bed hospital with a surgical suite, a neonatal unit, a pediatric ER open 24/7, an outpatient division, and an outreach program. The hospital is staffed by personnel from Lao who are trained and supervised by volunteer doctors, nurses, and technicians from around the world.

The hospital provides free care and treatment to nearly 20,000 children each year, addressing pressing problems like malnutrition, gastrointestinal infection, and anemia, all of which contribute to high child mortality rates. According to World Health Organization statistics, anemia affects more than a third of children in Lao, and more than one in 15 Laotian children will not reach the age of five. In 2017, LFHC opened a developmental clinic for patients with autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

LFHC has developed—and continues to develop—partnerships with organizations around the world, including the Swiss Red Cross, and is working to develop a government-approved residency program in collaboration with Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital. It is also hosting a University of California Davis research program, funded by the Gates Foundation, to study thiamine deficiency in children.

Non-profit organization assessment guide Charity Navigator has awarded FWAB with its highest rating of four stars.

For more information about additional projects supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, please click here.