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Approved to post Kiva loans from: Guatemala
Status Update - December 18, 2014
Kiva and Plasticos Foundation have agreed to end their partnership after almost 2 years and $3,900 in loans raised. This Field Partner has repaid its outstanding balance to Kiva in full, and these funds have been distributed to lenders. We thank Plasticos Foundation for their collaboration and wish them success in their future endeavors.
Partner Description: Plasticos Foundation is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides reconstructive plastic surgery to low-income individuals with correctable congenital or acquired health issues like cleft lips, burns and more. Often with a single surgery, the patient is transformed from a discriminated member to a productive member of their village. Founded in 1998, Plasticos Foundation also trains and assists surgeons and other medical providers around the world.
To date, the organization has sent missions to Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Cuba, India, Laos Cambodia, Bhutan and other locations. Its founder, Larry Nichter, has been a reconstructive surgeon for nearly three decades. He has led more than 60 Overseas medical missions. Since 1998 they have all been through the Plasticos Foundation, overseeing treatment of more than 3,000 patients and the training of scores of physicians to be self sufficient.
Reconstructive surgery services are especially important in Guatemala. Even though it is Central America’s most populous country, it has no reconstructive plastic surgery training programs. Waiting lists at government hospitals are years long, and most patients can’t afford the cost of operations elsewhere. As a result, most people with correctable conditions have no options and are often ostracized.
A child with a cleft lip in need of surgery.
In Guatemala, Plasticos Foundation works very closely with Asimedic, an on-the-ground partner it helped establish. Asimedic tracks documentation and accounting for each patient, while Plasticos Foundation determines which patients are eligible for surgery based on medical and financial criteria and assists in training when necessary.
A unique lending approach:
Many patients prefer to take out loans to finance reconstructive surgeries of cleft lips and palates, burn contractures, acquired and congenital hand and limb deformities, and other procedures.
With Plasticos Foundation’s help, Kiva loans enable low-income families in Guatemala’s San Marcos district to obtain payment plans for reconstructive surgeries. After these operations, previously stigmatized children can go to school and adults can re-enter the workforce.
Watch this video about the organization’s work and impact:
By combining reconstructive surgery with microfinance, Plasticos Foundation and Kiva are developing a local market for reconstructive surgeries: patients who receive treatment are more likely to find employment, while medical staff gets paid for their work.
At the same time, local surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses receive invaluable training in reconstructive surgical techniques and patient care. The objective is to create local expertise that can continue to make a difference after Plasticos Foundation volunteers leave.