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dental students syria

Dental student volunteers at Syrian refugee camp

Matthew Billington, a first-year King’s dentistry student, has recently completed a volunteer programme working with refugees in Lebanon. The week-long initiative is run as part of the King’s College London Sanctuary Programme – the collective response of the King’s community of staff and students to the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has witnessed since the Second World War: the 60 million refugees fleeing from Syria and other conflict zones.

As part of the trip, Matthew assisted with giving dental care to Syrian children in need of help, working alongside Lebanese dental students from St Joseph’s Dental School and American dental students from Buffalo University.


I didn’t just want to stand by, I wanted to make a difference. I realised that it would be such an eye opening, life changing experience that I couldn’t turn down. It was so humbling and gratifying to be part of a venture whose ultimate aim is to give the young refugees what every child in the world deserves; to live a happy, healthy and safe life.– Student and incoming Dental Society President, Matthew Billington

During his time there, Matthew also got the opportunity to help refugee children at schools in the camps. He noticed how eager they were to learn.

“I have been inspired to do everything in my ability to help this project and am planning to do lots of charity work to raise money for them in the future,” he said.

Professor Mark Woolford, Interim Executive Dean of the King's Faculty of Dentistry, oral & Craniofacial Sciences says: 'We were so pleased to be part of this opportunity for our students to work with other dental schools in providing relief to refugees. In this university-wide initiative, students play an important role.'