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.
Feb 3, 2014

Dental Hygienist Students Pass Extensive Exams

Dental Hygienist Students Pass Exam Hurdle

Our students prepared for their muy dificil exams with  much enthusiasm, as well as unavoidable apprehension.

After a grueling six hours (mercifully divided into 3-hour testing windows), the students all triumphed over multiple choice questions, the task of detailing clinical cases, and those dreaded essay questions. 

Hands-on Exam Section

Then each student was required to have a difficult cleaning patient for the clinical exam.  Students prepared their patients by taking x-rays, and from those films and from careful observation, assessing the patient's dental needs.  A medical history was taken to complete the picture.

Further Experience Required

Even though the students have passed their exams, they must continue to complete requirements such as cleaning the teeth of 50 patients.  The standards are very high at this Bolivian school.  A program this intense prepares the students according to professional standards elsewhere in the world. 

14 Years of Teaching a Marketable Skill to Young Women

For our friends and supporters at Global Giving, we thank you for helping the lives of these young women change dramatically.  For over a dozen years, our graduates have become more confident and continue to work as true professionals.  We even have a student going on to be a dentist, and what an accomplishment that is!

Nov 4, 2013

Introducing Our Holiday Season Micro-Project "Send Lucy to Bolivian Hygienist School for a Year"

http://www.globalgiving.org/microprojects/send-lucy-to-bolivian-hygienist-school-for-a-year/

We're excited to introduce our first micro-project which will directly help with Lucy's schooling.  Visit Project #15212 and meet Lucy Mariela Cachi Lopez first hand, finding out how grateful she is to have the opportunity of dental hygiene schooling.  View our short video slideshow giving an overview of Lucy's schooling program and the many other ways she helps.  Lucy assists in giving dental care to children facing chemotherapy, to children recovering from severe burns, and also helps by giving dental care to children of incarcerated parents.  Your holiday season gift even provides Lucy bus fare, and helps defray some of the costs of running the school itself.

Internationally-traveled Journalist Praises Our Bolivian Project  Penny LeGate, a journalist who has traveled the world, served as Smiles Forever's Master of Ceremonies at our 13th Annual Bolivian-Benefit Auction.

Penny described what a wonderful experience she has had seeing the Bolivian hygienist school start from the grassroots and continue to develop into an amazing opportunity for indigenous women.  Penny praised our Bolivian project which continues to serve so many indigenous people and to help women make a difference in a misogynistic society.

Girls, housed in orphanages until they are eighteen, usually are abruptly sent packing with no homes or family to help them.  Smiles Forever's organization stops this inhumane practice by helping the lucky few.

Our dental hygienist school reaches out to young women such as these, homeless through no fault of their own, to offer them shelter, an education, a growing sense of self-worth through counseling, and also through the service to their community. 

Smiles Forever Charity Foundation thanks you for keeping the doors to their school and their future open!

Sep 5, 2013

Dental Treatment for Children at the Burn Center | Mosoj Punchay

Roberto happy to learn about his teeth.
Roberto happy to learn about his teeth.
Mosoj Punchay (Children Burn Center)--- The children living in this center have come from the VIDEMA PUBLIC Hospital Burn Unit. This hospital services many children from the surrounding rural communities as well as the city of Cochabamba. The severity of the burns of these children is always unbelievable to me. The newest admitted from a poorly installed natural gas tank in a car. And as always from children handling explosives.

The Mosoj Punchay center is dedicated to the rehab of the children that have been severely burned. After surgery the children can live there while receiving further surgeries and physical therapy. Parents can visit during the week. Smiles Forever Clinic has awarded Roberto (fictional name) Patient of the Year and provided him needed dental treatment. He is recovering from 45% of his body being burned. Roberto is always the first to jump in the chair for dental treatment. All of his fillings are complete (14) but most importantly his dental hygiene improved to 100%. Congratulations Roberto!!! He still loves to come and visit and support the other dental patients.

Hogar Zapatito Boys Shelter--- With the opening of our new clinic, dental services for the boys from Hogar Zapatito will now be increased to include afternoon appointments. We are continuing to complete restorative treatment to this group who has suffered so much from living on the streets of rural Vinto. Many had never seen a dentist before but were able to overcome their fears with caring hands and hearts.

Roberto was burned on 45% of his body
Roberto was burned on 45% of his body
Portable dental equipment set up at Center
Portable dental equipment set up at Center
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