Project Cambodia: Dental Aid is a humanitarian programme which delivers basic dental services to the children who live in Cambodia’s 4th largest city, Kampot.
Project Cambodia was established by the Buddhist Library (renamed as “YourAid”) with the early goals to provide safe drinking water and education to the children attending Kbal Romeas Primary school in Kampot, which has now extended to over 200 schools in the Kampot area.
Project Cambodia is an important component of humanitarian care in Cambodia because of the severe lack of dental professionals and after the Pol Pot regime. After 1979, there were only 16 dentists and no oral surgeons left in Cambodia.
In 2009, Dr. Cecilia So, an Australian dentist, met with the Chairman of Trustees for the Buddhist Library (YourAid), Paget Sayers, and both saw the need for oral health care for Cambodian children, which started the Project Cambodia Dental Clinic. The aim was to provide free preventative and primary care to the children in the Kampot Province.
Slowly as Cambodia rebuilds herself, the International University dental school is training some of Cambodia’s new dentists. The new generation of dentists are kept busy fighting a very high incidence of rampant caries and chronic periodontal diseases due to easy access to confectionaries despite the chronic poverty of the citizens. It was with this understanding that led Cecilia to create Project Cambodia’s Dental Aid Project.
Cecilia has led several expeditions of volunteer Australian and overseas dentists and dental students for short volunteer trips to Cambodia. She has raised donations to fund not only the expeditions, but also instruments and equipments for the establishment of a fully functional dental clinic.
Read more about their expeditions in the Australian newspaper The Standard
Buddhist Library (now YourAid) has built the purpose built clinic with 3 dental chair units. The Buddhist Library (now YourAid) supported this joint venture by providing the building for the clinic site, and took on the task of providing continued funding for materials and staff. There are now five permanent dental staff, and the project has outgrown it’s original clinics with the addition of a new Kim Yon dental clinic in Kampong Speu, 1.5 hours outside Phnom Penh, and also a mobile clinic which provides access for children in remote areas.
Project Cambodia’s Dental Coordinator, Dr Cecilia So, would welcome volunteer dentists and dentistry students who would like to continue this humanitarian service to the children in Kampot and other towns in Cambodia. They welcome volunteers and donations to help disadvantaged, providing urgent and emergency relief of pain dentistry, restoring function, smiles, speech and self esteem to the children. Frankly, they don’t get a decent job with bad teeth, an important consideration! For volunteer information please contact YourAid though the YourAid contact form
If you are not a dentist but would like to help: The project welcomes English teachers, computer teachers, sewing teachers and builders/ engineers to help with their various projects. For more info see youraid.org.au.
Alternatively, you can make donations via the YourAid – Get Involved page.
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