Holiday Greetings for our Global Giving Friends: All of us at "Send Homeless Bolivian Woman to School for a Year" wish you a happy holiday season and blessings and joy in the year ahead. In 2012 we provided full dental treatment to over 7,000 children from the under-served populations of Bolivia.
Serving 7,000 Indigenous Bolivians: Including HIV positive children, Burn Patients, Homeless Children & Children with Birth Defects. Besides providing dental cleanings, fillings, and preventative dental care to children affected by HIV, burn patients, and homeless children, we strive to connect children who have congenital birth defects with dental professionals in Bolivia.
Success Story of Baby Burton: Born with Multiple Birth Defects & Now Overcoming Cultural Bias & being fitted with a Hearing Aid. Meet Baby Burton who is now standing for the first time with a little help from his dad. Baby Burton, now two-and-a-half years old, was born with a cleft palate. He was also missing both thumbs and found to be deaf. We stepped in and coordinated other professionals in Cochabamba to help his family. This fortunate todler is now walking, eating solid food for the first time, and being fitted for a hearing aid. His case, like so many others, is complicated by cultural values and concerns, and a lack of education. We are working with his family to help them understand that they should not be ashamed of their child's birth defects. This Christmas, Baby Burton is not wearing a hat to cover his misshapen ears, but instead is walking proudly unencumbered.
Your Help Makes our Unique Dental Hygiene School Possible. Thank you for showing that you care for Baby Burton, and so many like him, by supporting our groundbreaking work here in Bolivia, one of the poorest nations in Latin America. We can continue to train young indigenious women, and thus give them a skill so that they might become examples and leaders in their community, because of your help.
Dental Hygienist Students Bead Thank-you Gifts for Soroptimists
Our grateful dental hygiene students showed their creative and craft skills by beading gifts for the Soroptimist ladies of Washington State. Several students made colorful ties and sent them back with me to present as gifts. The women were overjoyed to receive these thoughtful gifts, and this Soroptimist organization of Washington State, and the one in Bolivia plan to keep helping these deserving students.
Annual Smiles Forever Auction Featured U.S. Volunteers
Both Tracy Wayman, DDS and Deborah Mcglynn-Chiu, RHD spoke to a receptive audience at our annual auction about the dental school where they had volunteered last February. Their personal stories and pictures they shared inspired everyone at the fundraising event. Deborah Mcglynn-Chiu's instructional manual has been an immense help to the program. Dr. Wayman was happy to share his excitement about the program, and he also was delighted to be reunited with my rambunctious 6-year-old son, Andre.
About my Children Andre & Giselle
My Bolivian husband Freddy and I discovered Andre when he was just two in an orphanage. Now his life is filled with fun and people, including both sets of loving grandparents, and now his soon-to-be sister Giselle, also from an orphanage. Both our darling children have benefited from modern science: reconstructive facial surgeries, and in Giselle's case a special hearing aid.
Festive Guitar Music from Sin Fronteras
The acoustical guitar music at our event I thought was not only beautiful, but rang true. The musical group was called Sin Fronteras, "Without Frontiers." Truly our world can work together, without borders or frontiers. Our school for indigenious Bolivian women is a testament to generosity and brotherhood.
Our Communication Promise: More Visuals!
A film was specially put together featuring still photos and an interview with a graduate of our school. Her life has been dramatically changed. We have three students now headed off to continue their studies and become dentists. Those of us dedicated to working at the Bolivian school, are going to try and share more photos with you online, so that you'll feel closer to the community you help.
Thankful at Thanksgiving Season
The Smiles Forever staff in the U.S., and all our staff in Bolivia, are thankful for our safety, and for the chance to change lives for the better. In October Alexis Nadine and Britt Lake from Global Giving came to Washington State and gave an all-day workshop on the Microsoft campus. Not only were the box lunches a hit, but also these women and their message of world-wide caring were a big hit. Alexis and Britt shared a very cute video of life back home in the Washington, D.C. office, a place which was closed recently for Hurricane Sandy's landfall. Alexis and Britt started us thinking about ideas to generate holiday giving and to involve more of you through your friends. Everyone's connections are important, so thank you for spreading the word.
Twelve-year Tribute: "It was YOU!"
The theme of the 12th Annual Smiles Forever fundraiser, "It was YOU!" comes from a song my children sing on their way to school. It is a heartfelt way of expressing, that "It Was YOU," who helped us launch and sustain this unique dental hygiene school--one-of-a-kind in all South America. To carry that idea further, "It IS YOU!" who keeps the doors open, changing so many lives by helping 7,000 yearly.
Thank you everyone,
1. HOSPITAL ONCOLOGICO CAJA PETROLERA SALUD
On the last quarter of 2012 a new project will be launched: Smiles Forever's Bolivian Hygienists School for Indigenous Women will provide quality dental services for children at the Oncology Hospital of Cochabamba. We will provide preventative and restorative services to children affected with cancer. Most of the patients are low income interns from rural areas and parents cannot provide any dental care for their children.
2. NEW CLINIC
Also, our new dental facilities is projected to open on the last quarter of 2012. These new facilities will allow us to increase the number of beneficiaries served with quality dental work , using a rotation of dental hygiene students.
3. FLUORIDE CAMPAIGNS
For the first quarter of 2013, fluoride campaigns will start in different public schools. This will allow us to expand the community service program and to provide prevention to larger groups and identify and attend dental emergencies that can be life-threatening.
4. SOROPITIMIST-SPONSORED CANCER WORKSHOPS
Thanks to the SOROPTIMIST group of Cochabamba, our dental hygiene students are receiving the benefit of workshops about cancer (all types, especially the ones that affect women). The objective is to transfer the knowledge to all the women with whom we work by using smaller workshops which adapt well to our training system.
In 2013 we will receive two new students from the Mariano Baptista School, situated in the mountains of the rural municipality of Morochata. The new students will receive the benefit of free education and will live as interns in the Smiles Forever's transition house where they will have all the housing accommodations that they will need to complete the program. The new beneficiaries of the dental hygiene training program will have the objective to return to Morochata and work for the community and smaller and more distant villages where Smiles Forever can't reach. Their training at the Cochabamba school will not only prepare them to identify dental emergencies, but also equip them with the knowledge to provide preventative care.
6. SMILES FOREVER'S DENTAL HYGIENE TRAINING CENTER
The graduating class of 2014 will be successfully completing their training with excellence. Our graduates are highly motivated and fully expect to start working for dentists in the community. All of us here in Bolivia sincerely thank our generous Global Giving family, for your continued support! It is because of your continued gifts that we can with confidence do long-term planning. Our projects now being put in place to help children with cancer, help even more distant villages, and to sustain our excellence to fully prepare our graduates -- all are possible with your support and blessing.
At the invitation of the Smiles Forever organization, Dr. Tracy Wayman provided care for 40 young new patients.
Forty lucky young boys, with no prior dental care, were treated by Dr. Tracy Wayman of Seattle, Washington. Sponsored by the Smiles Forever organization, Dr. Wayman volunteered a week of his time to treat these formerly homeless boys. These boys now live in a safe haven home in Vinto, a town 45 minutes outside Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Dr. Wayman's many talents were called into play as he administered much needed care to children totally without access to basic dental hygiene services. Because this boys home has no money available to budget for preventative dental care, each child had at least 5 cavities, and many were in need of extractions and root canal therapy.
It is no surprise Dr. Wayman had to soothe and calm down scared and crying young boys who were at first difficult to handle. It is wonderful that he has a special way with children, and that he could win them over and make them feel at ease. Soon they became easier to work with as he gained their trust, and they knew they would be feeeling much better free from awful toothaches. The generous and kind Dr. Wayman truly has a gift for working with those so much in need. All his new patients left with smiles on their faces!
Our Bolivian Dental Hygiene school is grateful to dedicated professionals like Dr. Wayman who are willing to leave their comfortable dentist offices and come and give of their time, working in some difficult situations with minimal supplies. Of course, it is thanks to our caring Global Giving family of donors, who make it possible for these fortunate boys to receive follow-up care.
Volunteer Deborah McLynn Chiu Instructs Hygienists at Unique Bolivian Dental School
Seattle area's Deborah McLynn Chiu RDH, dental hygienist and educator for 23 years, came to enrich the teaching program at the Smiles Forever one-of-a-kind vocational training program in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Deborah arrived February 12th and stayed for a whirlwind week of instruction and the sharing of the most up-to-date techniques. Because the Smiles Forever sponsored Dental Hygiene School in Bolivia is the first ever dental hygienist training program in Bolivia, maybe even the only one in all of South America, there is a need for a Spanish/ English training manual. Deborah McLynn Chiu is helping to write the book!
This book will provide a how-to guide on Mastery Level Dental Hygiene techniques. Our current manuals are being rewritten and updated to include our latest training techniques. One specialty of Deborah's is how to use scaling instruments for cleaning teeth, and she has taught our indigenous Bolivian women the latest techniques. Everyone here is so appreciative of her enthusiasm and help and energetic spirit to take on such a big project. We all are hoping Deborah McLynn Chiu can return for another teaching visit.
Our graduates, who have now formed their own Dental Hygiene Association in Bolivia, returned to attend evening and weekend continuing education courses to further develop their skills. In the spirit of Smiles Forever's Mission of giving to the community, the new Dental Hygiene Association of Bolivia has decided to raise funds for their own sealant and flouride school program, as well as aiding and mentoring other indigenous young women who attend the Smiles Forever Dental Hygiene School. We are all so proud to report that our graduates have branched out to help even more children who need preventative dental care for improved overall health.
Our special dental school, which changes the lives of young Bolivian women who might otherwise be homeless, without skills to support their families, and living a day to day existence, offers these women a better future with your generosity. Thank you. Muchas Gracias.
In total, our school has been here in the heart of the Bolivian high plateau country operating for over a decade and giving quality dental treatment to literally thousands, including burned children and rural populations. Many have received urgent care with the help of our irreplaceable teaching staff and volunteers.
We have been ranked #124 in this wonderful organization of over 8,000 projects. Our current Leader Title Overall has meant the Send a Homeless Bolivian Woman to School for a Year can be featured in matching campaigns, listed on corporate giving sites, and featured in South American campaigns. We just need to bump up to the $24,000 and above donation level, and with your help this can happen. An easy way to help this project you care so much about is to become a recurring giver. That way I'll be even busier sending out my sincere thanks.
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