KADVO: In the Heart of a Mission

Kanagawa Alliance Of Dental Volunteers Overseas

KADVO stands for Kanagawa Alliance Of Dental Volunteers Overseas. Based in Kanagawa, Japan, this is a group of dentists, oral hygienists, and volunteers who comes to the Philippines, particularly to the island of Cebu every year for a dental mission. They have been doing this for over 30 years.

The group goes to a pre-selected public primary school, giving dental services to the children who mostly do not have the access to dental care. During these missions they saw children in poverty, year after year.

They want to do more. Thus in 2005, the dentists initiated an educational support program through child sponsorship. A Japanese parent to a Filipino child. They named the project, KADVO Heart Parents. And the first sponsored children were from Batang Pinangga.

The project is running actively until today. Apart from their annual dental mission, KADVO members and volunteers invited their sponsored child for a get-together event: fellowship party on the beach and swimming pool. Though not all sponsors come, but those who are around bring goodwill and support.

Batang Pinangga is grateful to Dr. Munehiro Yamamoto, one of the pioneering members of the group, and also to Dr. Youichi Kikuchi, Dr. Kazuhisa Asano, and the important officers that we have come to meet. And to Dr. Flor Labitan and Dr. Fredinida Ygnacio-Nemenzo of the Philippine Dental Association Cebu Chapter, and Mr. Daniel Ong, for facilitating the connection ever since.

Every year Batang Pinangga children look forward to meet their sponsor. What is peculiar is that despite the language barrier-it is mostly impossible to understand what the Japanese are saying- but it does not matter most. When they come looking around for their sponsored child, reading on the name tags, and when found, they gaily exclaimed, “hey, okay okay”. Then it is the most precious moment, finding the very heart of their mission, helping a child.

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