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.
Oct 31, 2014

Bolivians Help Fund Dental Care for their Children

Bolivian Children at Community Service Clinic
Bolivian Children at Community Service Clinic

 

800 Bolivians Help Fund Dental Care for Thousands of Their Indigenous Children!

Smiles Forever's dedication of bringing dental care for 14 years to the indigenous community has been recognized.  The work of the outreach program from the dental hygienist school for over a decade has been rewarded with help from the Cochabamba community.  VIP magazine wrote an article about the astounding good & generous dental care being given as a key part of the dental school outreach.  80 chefs served 800 dinners to benefit Smiles Forever. How wonderful it is to have our local Bolivians rally to serve the underserved who live among us.

Bolivian Benefit Assures a Stream of Supplies for our Outreach Clinics

Our school director recently estimated we have helped bring dental care and treatment to over 20,000, and we have been helping the broader community since almost day one.  Our goal is to keep this charity outreach going strong to help the next 7,000 indigenous children.  With your help we can not only keep up the good work, but go even farther.  We hope to go back to the surrounding areas outside the core of Cochabamba and into the villages.

Fabiola, Paola, myself Sandy the Founder/ Director of Smiles Forever, Jobanna, & Aracelly Thank You!

I thought you would enjoy seeing a picture of me & some of my students all dressed up and attending a Women's Tea.  Part of what our mission is about is to bring confidence to these young women.  These are some of the wonderful hygienists-in-training who go out and introduce the children to the idea & practice of good dental health.

Adele Helps a Teen-aged Girl at the Burn Clinic

As you can tell from the picture of Adele and her patient, there is a caring bond between them.  This teenaged girl was severely burned--this happens way too often in a country where much of the population cooks on open fires.  Someday there may be a next chapter in this girl's life.  If things work out, and if there is financial backing for her, this burn survivor could come to our hygienist school.  What a difference that educational opportunity would make--particularly because it may be hard for her to find a husband because of her scars. 

Stories from Our Patients

We are now beginning the process of collecting stories from some of those thousands we see.  Children like to share how excited they are to see us.  Sometimes these children marvel at even handling a toothbrush.  These are children who are not watching TV with commercials about every possible thing available in the modern world.

They take our little plastic mirrors and their toy animals and try to brush the teeth of the stuffed animals--emulating our treatment.  These children are practicing what we preach!  "What about me!" Everyone says because they all want to take part.  Afterwards, they take their little mirrors and smile and look handsome or glamourous and exclaim, "Don't I look pretty (bonita)!"

Invitation to Join our December Month-long Global Giving Campaign

Coming in December, look for this key project "Fund Dental Care for 7,000 Indigenous Children (#17607)" as part of GlobalGiving's holiday campaign to encourage recurring givers.  The bar is raised high to win monetary prizes from $3,000 to $500.  The prizes are awarded for either most unique donors or most money raised & many runner-up levels are awarded, too.  We have to have 30 unique donors and a minimum of $3,000 raised during the 31 days of December. (Plan on donating with PayPal or debit/credit card for ease.  Also, you may send in a check if it is cleared by December 23rd.  Other donations like gift cards or text donations don't qualify during this giving window.

Mark your reminder calendars for Dec. 1st - Dec. 31st.  Tell your family and friends, and join us in this great funding opportunity.  We would be honored to have you on our team!

Adela at Burn Center
Adela at Burn Center
Fabiola, Paola, Sandy, Jobanna, Aracely at tea
Fabiola, Paola, Sandy, Jobanna, Aracely at tea
Beautiful Bolivian girl
Beautiful Bolivian girl
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!

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