Smiles Forever

The Smiles Forever mission is to break the cycle of poverty by vocationally training young indigenous women to be dental hygienists in Cochabamba, Bolivia. We recognize women as the first socialization factor in the family. Enabling them to become financially self-sufficient, we are both creating female community leaders and bettering the lives of their children. Students give back to their community by providing free dental care at the school, burn center and rural communities.
Sep 12, 2014

Banner Year -- Nayda Returns as a Dentist!

Dr. Nayda A. in blue dental cap & Hygienist Adela
Dr. Nayda A. in blue dental cap & Hygienist Adela

Smiles Forever is completing another banner year!

       Our project is coming full circle.  We are happy to announce the addition of a new staff member.  Dr. Nayda A., our former student is returning to us as an instructor.  Nayda graduated five years ago as a dental hygienist.  After graduation she worked as a dental hygienist in a local private clinic, while she simultaneously trained to become a dentist at the public university San Simon here in Cochabamba.

Smiles Forever's graduate Nayda returns to work as a dentist

       Smiles Forever provides free dental care to the underserved population of children and adults in Cochabamba through our community service project.  Nayda, as a young dental hygienist, spent countless hours working with these patients.  Through the program she developed a real sense of community.  After graduation she came to us and asked if there was any opportunity for her to help.  We had an opening in the community service clinc as a dentist.  For the past three months Nayda has given back to those in need.  She is an excellent and caring dentist. By using her time wisely, and by mastering streamlined dental techniques, Nayda has increased her patient load by almost 50%.

Meet Nayda

       "I want to thank all the people that support Smiles Forever with their different donations because the donors and the people who support Smiles Forever doesn't know by firsthand all the good which they are doing for children in need.  I will keep giving the best of me for those kids and future dental hygiene students."

Smiles Forever serves the under-served indigenous community

       This year we will be working with 13 other non-profit organizations providing their dental care.  Our outreach program will serve children who are the poorest of the poor:  these children live in homeless shelters, or live with their parents in jail.  We also serve children who have been badly burnt, children affected by HIV, and abused boys and girls -- about 2,000 in total this year!

      

      

Jun 27, 2014

YouthSpark Challenge Ignites Donors: We Benefit!

Adela at Burn Center giving Dental Treatment
Adela at Burn Center giving Dental Treatment

Smiles Forever's projects all benefit from Microsoft Corporation's summer matching funds "contests."

Our parent project "Send a Homeless Bolivian Woman to School for a Year (#7925 ranked a respectable 411th out of 14,294 overall projects), and our current micro-projects:  "Sonia's Road: From Orphan to Dental Professional" (#17037 ranked an amazing 13th out of 14,294 Global Giving total projects) & "Give Aracelly Dental Training to Escape Servitude" (#17502 ranked a stellar 94th out of same 14,294 projects) all earned matching funding.

Recounting the Wild Giving Flurry of Matching Day:

A simple 100% YouthSpark matching day flared up quickly to bonfire proportions.  In case you haven't heard, the June challenge broke the record for sizzling speed--donations came in so rapidly that the $200,000 in funds provided by Microsoft was consumed in just over 5 minutes.  It was a true conflagration as human hearts spoke with the fire of their passion for favorite organizations which benefit not only Bolivia's, but the world's youth.

There is no way of expressing fully how important YouthSpark's gift will be towards starting up this fall's Dental Hygienist school's operations.  We will be not only welcoming our new students, but also welcoming back our 2nd year students.

Hearing Our Student's Stories:

You've met our students Sonia (#17037), Aracelly (#17502), Adela ("Share Adela's Dream/ Hone Dental Hygienist Skills" (#16713), and Lucy ("Send Lucy to Bolivian Hygienist School for a Year" #15212).  The way YouthSpark projects work is they stay active for 90 days or until fully funded, then they are "Retired."

Now meet Fabila ("Fund Fabila's Future with Dental Hygienist School" #17592 ranked 36th).  Fabila's story is one of turning a life of despair and neglect into one of promise and purpose.

Recognizing our Contributors Big & Small:

While the dollar goes far in Bolivia, it is nevertheless often stretched thin.  To launch our school, we relied on a small donor base back home in the states, but increasingly the answer is our world-wide donor pool.

 Sincerest thanks to our individual donors like you, and please allow us to add:

Thank you Microsoft YouthSpark and Global Giving!

May 1, 2014

Sonja Excells: Dental School Graduate's Success

Sonja Sagari with Smiles Forever
Sonja Sagari with Smiles Forever's Sandy Kemper

Sonja's Story:  Five Years After Graduating from Smiles Forever's Dental Hygienist Bolivian School

Sonja Sagare graduated from Smiles Forever's Dental Hygienist school five years ago with honors and many good wishes bestowed.  She is a bright woman with a bright future & a bright & beautiful smile.  Since her graduation, Sonja has worked as a dental hygienist for one of the leading dental clinics in Cochabamba, with the esteemed Dr. Rocha.

Furthering Sonja's Studies:

Sonja also has been trying to study at the dental school, Universidad Mayor de San Simon, in Cochabamba, Bolivia. 

Sonja Teaching Dental Hygienist Skills to Our Current Students:

Since it is challenging to work full time and attend dental school, Sonja has decided to give back to Smiles Forever by working part time in the hygiene program teaching the dental assisting skills she learned at Dr. Rocha's office.

Saving $ and Giving Back Time:

Sonja will be saving every last penny for dental school and is currently looking for a sponsor.  Sonja also is involved in the Dental Hygiene Society of Cochabamba, and spent last weekend working in the rural community of Uspha providing sealants and tooth brushing skills to over 300 school children.

Sonja's Humble Background:

Sonja came from humble beginnings.  She lost both parents at an early age, and was raised by her older sister until age seven.  Her sister, fearful she'd lose Sonja, taught her at home in the evenings.  Then Sonja lived at Madre de Dios (women's shelter) most of her teenage years before attending Smiles Forever's dental hygienist training program.

Trees Aglow in Bolivia
Trees Aglow in Bolivia
Party at Children
Party at Children's Burn Center in Bolivia
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