ASI Project Report
International Caring Hands
International Caring Hands (ICH) has actively provided free dental care to people in the remote southern regions of Zambia since 2013. Dental clinics on the Riverside Farm Institute campus have served the 300-plus people living in villages surrounding Riverside Farm. Another clinic has supplied care for 500-plus people in remote villages outside Livingstone, Zambia, where ICH paid for and built two One Day school buildings and two One Day churches. In addition, ICH provides as-needed dental care at Oz Orphanage, operated by an Adventist family from Australia.
In October 2013, ICH coordinated with Riverside Farm’s Pioneer Bible Workers program on the lower Zambezi River. Along with dentists Matthew Hayden and Paul Yoo from the Lusaka Seventh-day Adventist
Dental Clinic, ICH served more than 100 people. Evening temperatures reached over 100 degrees, but some people walked more than 25 kilometers (nearly 12 miles) to receive dental care at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Several people with potentially fatal mouth infections were treated. Some abscesses were so bad they were draining on the outside of the person’s cheek. After seeing the dentists, patients attended the Bible workers’ evangelistic meeting.
After providing dental care in Kafue, Zambia, at the Adventist Church, ICH paid for and built two One Day schools for the Kafue community in coordination with Alan Knowles of Riverside Farm Institute. More than 500 people were treated at the Kafue site. Each day as patients waited, they enjoyed Vacation Bible Schools and health education programs.
In total, ICH has seen more than 1,400 people in Zambia, with an estimated delivery of $150,000 of free dental care. The initial $5,000 grant from ASI was used to purchase dental supplies, including extraction instruments, sutures, sterilization supplies, and anesthesia for direct dental care to the people of Zambia. Funding for personnel (travel, room and board) and other operating costs were covered by ICH reserves.
In its dental projects, ICH utilizes volunteers from numerous Adventist colleges and universities who are interested in the possibility of attending dental school. This helps to plant the importance of missions in the hearts of our next generation.
In North America, ICH has also provided services at Diné Outreach Project on the Navajo Reservation near Page, Arizona. Drs. Paul Conner and Matthew Hayden provided free dental care to more than 200 people at a value of more than $20,000. This project was a coordinated effort with Laurelwood Academy students, who provided patients with health education, free Navajo language Steps to Christ volumes, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Native Americans came from as far away as Flagstaff (more than 120 miles) to obtain these free dental services.