Promoting Peace

Bringing hope to Kosovo

Bringing hope to Kosovo

Rotarian, Rev Clive Doubleday, founded the charity Smile International 21 years ago to care for thousands of refugees in war-torn Kosovo. Today, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, his club in Cambridgeshire is continuing to offer their support.

Smile International had been caring for thousands of refugees in war-torn Kosovo since 1999.

The charity, founded by Rev Clive Doubleday and his wife Ruth, has helped to rebuild widows’ homes, decorate and equip schools, support widows with food parcels, and take out thousands of volunteers from the UK to help rebuild the country after the ravages of war.

The charity’s work has also extended to include feeding, educating, empowering and developing projects in Zimbabwe, Uganda and India.

Clive, who is Vice President of Peterborough Ortons Rotary, and Ruth noticed in Kosovo that a number of the widows were dying of cancer.

This was caused by the stress of the war, poor diet, and the many depleted uranium cluster bombs which had penetrated the ground without exploding, contaminating the agricultural ground.

The widows were living on a meagre pension and could not see a doctor, purchase the appropriate medicine or get a nurse to give you an intravenous drip.

So, the charity pioneered palliative care work in Kosovo, and established a medical clinic at their Smile Centre in Gjakove.

They employed a doctor and nurse treating those with cancer and providing pain relief.

smile international

Smile International doctor and nurse with PPE.

The medical team also provides anti-sore mattresses, wheelchairs, commodes, crutches, and in some cases firewood, food, blankets and clothes, to give patients dignified and peaceful end-of-life care possible.

The charity has also provided training workshops for doctors, nurses and medical professionals at the Smile Centre. These proved so popular that the Kosovan Ministry of Health asked Smile International to take the training to different cities throughout the country.

Over the years, they have successfully trained in excess of 3,000 doctors, nurses and medical professionals in end-of-life care, as well as making approximately 20,000 free home care visits to those suffering with cancer.

Smile International is also developing a mobile medical clinic which can visit remote mountain villages, providing medical and palliative care treatment.

Over the years, they have successfully trained in excess of 3,000 doctors, nurses and medical professionals in end-of-life care, as well as making approximately 20,000 free home care visits to those suffering with cancer.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been difficult to get hold of adequate masks, gloves, aprons, hand sanitisers and other protective equipment,

But thanks to a District 1070 grant, successfully applied for by Peterborough Ortons Rotary, Smile International has been able to purchase not only much-needed pain relief drugs but also a good amount of urgently-needed personal protective equipment for the palliative care team.

Clive said: “We are very grateful for the District grant, which has brought much relief, help and support to those families and patients who are facing the challenges of cancer, and on their behalf I say a big thank you to all my fellow Rotarians.”

Peterborough Ortons Rotary have been giving generous support to the local food bank, homelessness charity, and the East Anglian Air Ambulance during the COVID-19 crisis.

For more details visit: www.smileinternational.org