The first year of the five-year voluntary cooperation program run by Terre Sans Frontières (TSF) in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has resulted in 27 volunteers being sent into the field. These 10 men and 17 women have begun transferring knowledge and installing equipment that will make it possible to provide more dental, optometric and homeopathic care in four different countries.
Five volunteers went to Tanzania—three with Dentistes Sans Frontières (DSF) and two with Optométristes Sans Frontières (OSF).
The goals of these two missions were to finalize the setup of a dental clinic and an optometry clinic with an eyeglass lab, as well as train local professionals on how to use the equipment. All the equipment and materials, including 10,000 pairs of glasses, were donated to TSF and then shipped by container.
One optometry and two dentistry missions took place in Bolivia. Eleven DSF volunteers prepared a series of vocational and technical training courses for local professionals, and trained six of these professionals in children’s oral health and dentistry.
As for the four OSF volunteers, they trained four professionals.
During these three missions in Bolivia, volunteers also provided care to the public, creating an ideal setting for the clinical practice sessions that completed the classroom training.
In Honduras, where the homeopathic care component of the program is taking place, six Homéopathes de Terre Sans Frontières volunteers held five large training sessions that brought together a total of 178 participants (47 men and 131 women). Furthermore, two of the four homeopathic remedy dispensaries provided for by the program opened, and 285 people were treated.
The purpose of all these actions is to help partners become autonomous, and give them the tools and training they need to sustainably provide specialized care to people with little to no access.
The program’s only nonsuccess was the inability to develop activities in Mali due to ongoing insecurity.
Other Sans Frontières missions
In the past year, several other missions involving professionals being sent into the field were completed.
For example, CPA Without Borders sent chartered professional accountants to Haiti, to train Sisters of Charity of Saint-Louis in accounting for the schools and homes they supervise.
Also, Physiothérapie Sans Frontières sent volunteers to Ecuador and Haiti, so they could assess the needs there and work with children with different disabilities.