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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Working with NGOs

Working with NGOs is a rewarding and meaningful experience that can help you develop valuable skills and make a positive impact in the world. Whether you are interested in humanitarian, environmental, social, or educational causes, there is an NGO that matches your passion and goals. Here are some of the benefits and challenges of working with NGOs, as well as some tips on how to succeed in this field.

One of the main benefits of working with NGOs is that you can learn from diverse and experienced professionals who share your vision and values. You can also gain exposure to different cultures, perspectives, and contexts that can broaden your horizons and enrich your personal and professional growth. Working with NGOs can also help you build a strong network of contacts and collaborators who can support you in your future endeavours.

Another benefit of working with NGOs is that you can contribute to meaningful and impactful projects that address some of the most pressing issues in the world. You can see the results of your work firsthand and feel proud of making a difference in the lives of others. Working with NGOs can also give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment that can motivate you to keep learning and improving.


ForPeace House Building Team, Cambodia 2013

Generations For Peace (GFP) and forPEACE:


1. Generations For Peace (GFP):

- GFP is dedicated to sustainable conflict transformation at the grassroots level in communities worldwide.

- They promote youth leadership, believing that young people play a vital role in leading social change and transforming conflict within their communities.

- Their approach involves community empowerment, working at the grassroots to support youth in building on local strengths. This helps communities transform themselves into tolerant and peaceful societies.

- GFP emphasizes active tolerance, viewing peace as a process driven by active understanding, dialogue, and positive engagement with others, founded on trust and respect.

- They also advocate for responsible citizenship, recognizing that social change begins with personal responsibility. It is sustained when people actively engage in creating a shared future for their community.

- GFP has achieved a remarkable milestone by maintaining a Net Zero Carbon footprint for five years, demonstrating their commitment to environmental sustainability.


2. forPEACE:

- The forPEACE Ukraine Relief Project focuses on hyperlocalized targeted aid in areas impacted by war.

- They work closely with Ukrainians in war zones, connecting international financial support with the expertise of Ukrainian networks, medical professionals, and trusted community organizers.

- One critical initiative is the Trauma Surgery Program. In frontline hospitals in Ukraine, soldiers arrive daily with major blast injuries to the face. Currently, traumatic injuries are treated with simple sutures, leaving underlying bone destruction untreated.

- Dr. Ellwanger, a former Major in the US Air Force specializing in oral maxillofacial surgery (OMFS), trains doctors in frontline hospitals. The goal is to reposition fractured facial bones using surgical fixation with titanium hardware to restore proper function.

- The program aims to empower facial trauma departments in Ukraine by developing their capacity and skills for comprehensive patient care protocols.

- Additionally, forPEACE provides general medical support, including locally produced hospital beds, blood coagulants, sterilized disposables, and necessary medical supplies.

Both organizations play crucial roles in promoting peace, conflict transformation, and humanitarian aid. If you'd like to learn more or support their efforts, you can visit their respective websites:

- [Generations For Peace](https://www.generationsforpeace.org/en/)


Feel free to explore their work further!



However, working with NGOs also comes with challenges requiring resilience and adaptability. One of the main challenges is that you may have to work with limited resources, tight deadlines, and high expectations. You may also have to deal with complex and uncertain situations that demand creativity and flexibility. Working with NGOs can also be emotionally demanding, as you may witness or hear about suffering, injustice, or violence that can affect your mental health and well-being.



To overcome these challenges, you need to have a positive attitude and a strong commitment to your cause. You also need to have good communication and collaboration skills, as you will have to work with different stakeholders, such as donors, partners, beneficiaries, and authorities. You also need good self-care practices, such as setting boundaries, seeking support, and taking breaks.


Working with NGOs is not for everyone, but if you are passionate about making a positive change in the world, it can be one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences of your life. You can develop valuable skills, make a positive impact, and grow personally and professionally. If you are interested in working with NGOs, here are some steps you can take:


- Research different NGOs that match your interests and goals.

- Volunteer or intern with an NGO to gain experience and insight.

- Network with people who work or have worked with NGOs.

- Apply for jobs or projects that suit your skills and qualifications.

- Keep learning and improving your skills and knowledge.


Cambodia Oral Health Partnership. 2024


The Cambodia Oral Health Partnership is an essential initiative aimed at improving oral health in Cambodia. Here are some relevant points:

1. Global Oral Health Status Report:

- The World Health Organization (WHO) has published the Oral Health Cambodia 2022 country profile as part of the Global Oral Health Status Report.

- This report reviews recent data on major oral diseases, risk factors, health system challenges, and opportunities for reform.

- It includes the first-ever country oral health profiles for each WHO Member State, providing key oral health information.


2. Healthy Kids Cambodia Dental Program:

- The Healthy Kids Cambodia program is implemented in primary schools within Phnom Penh and several provinces.

- Dental students, dentists, and partners collaborate to provide dental care to children.

- Partners include One-2-One Cambodia, the Cambodian Dental Association, the Oral Health Office of the Ministry of Health (MOH), and the School Health Department of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport (MOEYS).


3. Oral Health Placement Program:

- Students have the opportunity to work with local NGOs in Cambodia.

- They provide dental care for children while learning about global healthcare issues and local dental practices.

- Observing local dentists conducting procedures and examining patients in local clinics is an integral part of this program.


4. Australian Dentists Supporting Oral Health:

- A group of Australian dentists recently joined efforts in Cambodia.

- They provided treatment at Hangov school to support CIPO (Cambodian Initiative for Pediatric Oncology) in achieving high standards of care for children in primary school settings.


The Cambodia Oral Health Partnership plays a crucial role in promoting better oral health and advocating for its prioritization at global, regional, and national levels.



Kids International Dental Services (KIDS):

Since 2009, KIDS has been providing pro-bono dental care to impoverished children in developing countries. They have embarked on countless dental missions to help children gain access to dental care and inspire young dentists to make volunteerism a lasting part of their careers. Over the years, KIDS has served thousands of children in eight countries, including Cape Verde, The Philippines, Cambodia, Haiti, South Africa, Mongolia, Guatemala, and Morocco .


Their fundamental mission includes:

- Providing free dental care to children so they can be free of pain, active in school, and pursue their endeavours.

- Educating the community about the importance of dental care and how to care for children's teeth.

- Collaborating with the community to empower them to keep children healthy.

- Mentoring volunteers to make volunteerism a part of their career.

- Fostering lasting relationships with both communities and volunteers by returning year after year.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." KIDS embodies this spirit by making a positive impact on the lives of children in need through dental care and community service.


Kids (Kids International Dental Services) Cambodia 2024. Denzils School.


The Khmer Sight Foundation is dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness in Cambodia. Their mission is to provide expert clinical training, recognized by overseas professional bodies, for all eye care health professionals.


Developing Local Capacity and Skills: The foundation focuses on training and education to build local capacity and skills. By empowering eye care professionals within Cambodia, they aim to create a self-reliant system that can provide high-quality, safe, and effective eye care.



Conducting Local, Volunteer-Led Missions**: The foundation organizes missions led by local volunteers to address eye problems across the country. These missions aim to identify those in need, provide diagnostic services, and offer solutions to prevent avoidable blindness.




Since its founding, Khmer Sight Foundation has achieved remarkable success. They have conducted over 25,000 successful sight-saving surgeries, restoring vision to underprivileged rural Cambodians. Additionally, they've provided access to more than 45,000 medical services.

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