Ethiopia Service Project

Dear Prospective Volunteers,

In October of 2006, I went with the Village of Hope to Ethiopia, on a medical humanitarian expedition. I have worked as a medical sales rep for 9 years and finally decided to donate my time on an expedition to a developing country. I stumbled upon a couple in Heber, the Kennard’s, who adopted 6 Ethiopian children 12 years ago. Since that time, the family has been back numerous times and now have a non-profit organization that takes in “high risk” children. High risk is anything from orphans to young women who have been raped and circumcised and then have become outcasts. The Kennard’s have taken over many doctors, of various fields, to volunteer and help. Upon returning from my expedition to Africa, I knew I had to help this organization. Because of my line of work, which includes six years with Johnson & Johnson and three years with Astra Tech Implants, I have become acquainted with many health care professionals, including many dentists. Because I have worked with so many dentists, I would like to develop a humanitarian dental program in Ethiopia.

I met Dr. Karl Koerner at an implant seminar, and he told me about the Academy of LDS Dentists. He told me he would like to help me with this project. I told him of my plans and told him it was in its infancy. He thought that there would be plenty of dentists who would be interested in helping. Whoever might be interested in participating in this service project in Ethiopia would be part of a project starting from the ground floor. We currently are getting in touch with the dental school in the capital city of Addis Ababa. We want the students to be involved from the beginning and become a giant part of what we do over there.

What I would like to see happen is the following: We have a trip planned for the beginning of October. I would like to get some information on your website and see what kind of response we get. In the meantime, we will be working with the Ethiopian Dental School to plan for the arrival of the LDS dentists. I would like to have a group that stays in the capital city, Addis Ababa, and a group that goes out to a remote village and then we can switch them. We are looking for general dentists, oral surgeons, periodontists and plastic surgeons, for our project.

Please let me know if you are interested in helping us on this project. We need lots of help and input.


Noel Nielsen

P.S. Every expedition is followed with an incredible trip to Kenya, for a four day Safari. This is optional, however everyone who has gone on past expeditions have also gone on this Safari. It is an incredible experience.

The “Village of Hope” website is