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James Rolfe

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Review for Afghanistan Dental Relief Project Inc, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

The Afghanistan Dental Relief Project is both a registered 501C3 charity and an Afghanistan Non-Government NGO. It was formed in 2003 when Afghanistan was abandoned in favor of invading Iraq by the US Military. The organization provides free basic dental treatment to poor Afghans and trains underprivileged Afghan youth as dental professionals. Currently ADRP is training dental assistants, dental laboratory technicians, and dental hygienists. The program is approved by the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health. The clinic has seven treatment rooms with a staff of sixteen, including three dentists and four dental hygienists. A modern guest house serves international volunteers who come to the project to provide treatment or to teach others. 100% of all donations go directly to the project, as there are no salaried management, and volunteers pay their own expenses.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working for the last ten years, sending 200,000 pounds of supplies and equipment, providing free treatment for about 80,000 poor patients, training many classes of orphans and widows and handicapped students to be dental technicians, building a shippable dental clinic in California and sending it to Afghanistan as a shipping container, speaking before audiences, fundraising, going to Afghanistan several times a year, seeing the life-changing process working with students and patients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work to impress upon the rest of the world that the poor people of Afghanistan continue to be abandoned, and need the basic tools that we take for granted. With a life span of only 42 years and only 20% literacy, Afghanistan citizens have difficulty finding clean water and enough food to survive. With the average age of Afghans being 14 years, and over 3,000,000 orphans, Afghanistan needs the help and attention of the rest of the world in order to heal it and restore its infrastructure.

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How did you learn about this organization?

I went to Afghanistan with portable dental equipment and worked in an orphanage in 2003. I saw the poverty and sickness with my own eyes. I saw that 90% of Afghans could not access dental care and actually died from their teeth condition. I saw all the people who had no opportunity for education to further their lives. I returned to America and began construction of a shippable clinic. Now the project is a success with doctors working every day. I continue to fund the project basically from my own income, sending $8,000 to pay the expenses of the project. More information can be found at website.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

The project is providing daily free basic dental care to poor Afghans, and educating underprivileged youth in dental technology careers. Opportunities for volunteers who go there at their own expense also exist. This is a daily operation with sixteen employees, all of whom are Afghan, and many of whom have been trained in our technical school.

What is its top priority in the long run?

A new clinic is being opened to treat non=Afghans who would normally go to Dubai for treatment. The new clinic will provide sophisticated treatment that is currently not available in Afghanistan. Fees equal to those charged in Dubai will be collected and used to offset expenses created in treating the poor Afghan people. The clinic has been built. We are seeking funds to cover shipping the equipment and five years of supplies from California, at a cost of $25,000. Please help by donating.

Role:  Board Member & I am the president of ADRP and I have donated almost $1 million to make it a success. .