Our Work

Ongoing International Work: Nepal, Mongolia, Haiti, Israel and Mexico

AWB’s ongoing international work has come about in three ways:

  • Taking World Healing Exchange trips to an area, and ultimately being invited back to provide training in that region. (Nepal, Mongolia, and Mexico)
  • Responding to a disaster in that area, training local health care workers, and providing support for the creation of ongoing clinics. (Haiti)
  • Having an acupuncturist from an area attend an AWB training in the United States, and then ask AWB to come provide training and other support within the country. (Israel)

What follows is a short summary of each of these programs, with a name and email address if you would like more information.

Treatments at Maiti Nepal, organization that rescues girls from sex trafficking.

Ravyn Stanfield teaching children in Nepal how to take care of ear seeds

Nepal

AWB’s first World Healing Exchange (WHE) trip (see info about WHE trips HERE) traveled to Nepal in 2009. In 2010 AWB returned to Nepal to train 60 local acupuncturists and community health care workers to provide trauma recovery with the NADA (National Acupuncture Detoxification Association) protocol using needles or ear seeds. Additional WHE trips to Nepal took place in 2011 and 2013, with further trainings for Nepali health care practitioners in 2013 and 2015.

Clinics run by Nepali AWB trainees are currently run in organizations that rescue girls and women from sex trafficking and domestic abuse; that rescue children from the streets; that support the peace process by rehabilitating former guerrillas and support those who lost families during the war; and that help women factory workers who work under very difficult conditions. Additionally health camps are run from time to time in rural villages. This program is truly a model for how to develop programs that support the global empowerment and capacity-building of local practitioners.

When a series of devastating earthquakes struck Nepal in the spring of 2015, the practitioners trained by AWB immediately went into action, mobilizing teams to treat the hardest hit communities as well as first responders. Between April and November 2015 these teams provided 20,000 treatments, and other AWB volunteers working independently provided 50,000 treatments in the aftermath of the earthquakes. In the fall of 2015 AWB brought a team of volunteers from the U.S. and other countries to Nepal to give additional support to this relief effort, which is ongoing.

Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB) has been visiting and working in Nepal since 2009. Our program has grown in extraordinary ways, creating regular free acupuncture clinics run by AWB trained Nepalis, in collaboration with the Nepal Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Acupressure Association (AMAAN).

For more information, please contact AWB Executive Director, Diana Fried, ed@acuwithoutborders.org.

Mongolia

In 2010 AWB brought a World Healing Exchange trip to Mongolia. On this trip, AWB volunteers met local doctors struggling to address the disease of alcoholism which is rampant in Mongolia.

These medical professionals asked AWB to return and provide training that would help them support addiction recovery in programs throughout Mongolia. In 2013, then AWB Board President Carla Cassler (now Associate Director) returned to Mongolia with a team of volunteers to train 75 Mongolian doctors. As a result of this training, ear acupuncture for alcohol addiction has been integrated into the Mongolian National Mental Health Centre as an ongoing therapy.

For more information, please contact AWB Associate Director, Carla Cassler, director@acuwithoutborders.org.

AWB trainer Brigid Ting and AWB Associate Director Carla Cassler training doctors in the Mongolia National Mental Health Centre, 2013   Photo Credit: Meg McDowell

Haiti

In 2010 Haiti was hit with a huge earthquake that flattened the capital city of Port-au-Prince, as well as many surrounding areas. Following generations of political, environmental and economic hardship in the country, the earthquake disaster devastated this little country.

Acupuncturists from around the United States begged AWB to mount a relief effort in Haiti. With support from private sponsors and relief coordinators, as well as Mayway and other organizational sponsors, AWB began sending relief teams to Haiti. In 2010 eight relief teams offered approximately 5,000 treatments. Subsequently AWB provided three trainings for a total of 120 local health care practitioners.

Currently AWB trainees in Haiti offer six weekly clinics, and AWB provides ongoing support for a part-time local clinic coordinator. AWB volunteers have offered over 30,000 life-giving treatments in Haiti, and there is demand by local health care practitioners for an additional training if funds can be raised.

For more information, please contact AWB Associate Director, Melanie Rubin, melanie@acuwithoutborders.org .

AWB trainees providing treatments in a rural community clinic, Thomonde, Haiti

Israel and the West Bank

In 2012 Israeli acupuncturist Keren Assouline attended one of AWB’s 2-day Level I training programs in Portland, Oregon. Keren returned to Israel, trained three colleagues, started a clinic for trauma survivors in Tel Aviv, and created an AWB chapter.

Aya Basheer (left) being treated by Oshrat Rosenberg (right) at the AWB Healing Community Trauma in Israel training, 2014    Photo credit: Diana Fried

In 2013, AWB Israel and AWB (US) worked together to develop a trauma healing course for Jewish, Muslim, Christian and secular acupuncturists. In 2014, then AWB Director Carla Cassler traveled to Israel with AWB founder Diana Fried and a team of volunteers to train 40 acupuncturists. The training was remarkably powerful and effective, and trainees set up healing circles throughout Israel, implementing what they had learned. They also worked regularly under the auspices of Physicians for Human Rights to provide field clinics in the West Bank. The need for this work was underscored shortly afterwards when the horrifying Gaza war erupted, creating more trauma for the region.

Carla Cassler and Diana Fried returned to Israel in 2015 with a team of AWB volunteers to provide a second training, and partner with local peace and women’s organizations in supporting ongoing work.

Carla and Diana have also partnered with Creativity for Peace, doing trainings and clinics for this program that supports healing, friendship and leadership development for Arab-Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli young women.

A third training will be offered in Israel in 2016, and plans are underway for a World Healing Exchange trip to Israel in 2017.

For more information, please contact AWB Associate Director Carla Cassler, director@acuwithoutborders.org.

Mexico

AWB founder and Executive Director has led several World Healing Exchange trips to Mexico, traveling in the Baja, Oaxaca, and Yucatan regions, most recently in collaboration with AWB Associate Director Melanie Rubin. During the Yucatan trip in 2013 the group received several requests from local healers and community health care workers to return and provide training. However, when Melanie traveled back to Yucatan in early 2016 to organize a training, it became clear that the time was not yet right for a local training in this area.

Discussions are underway for a second WHE trip to Yucatan in the fall of 2016, with exploration of whether/where/how/when a training may become appropriate in this region. AWB is also in discussion with other organizations that provide ongoing healing support in Mexico, both from the United States and within Mexico, for possible collaboration as AWB’s work in this country moves forward.

For more information, please contact AWB Executive Director Diana Fried, ed@acuwithoutborders.org, or Associate Director Melanie Rubin, melanie@acuwithoutborders.org .

AWB trainees providing treatments in a rural community clinic, Thomonde, Haiti

Mayan community receiving AWB treatments in Popola, Yucatan, Mexico