Girls in pink & yellow receive dental screening
GlobalGiving's Chloe Pays a Visit to Smiles Forever in Bolivia!
Isn't it truly amazling that GlobalGiving cares enough about us here in out-of-the-way Bolivia to make a "house call" and see how we are doing? Chloe arrived on a typical busy day here in Cochabamba, which is a fast-paced metropolitan area in the beautiful high valley where fruit and vegetables thrive. Smiles Forever has been building our base of dental care for 16 years, and for over five years of that time we have partnered with GlobalGiving. If I am not losing track, someone has come from Global Giving's main office three times. We are so privileged to share what we are doing here as we expand dental care for the indigenous peoples in ever-widening circles.
- Chloe visited Smiles the 3rd of May, 2016 at 10:30 AM, we picked her up from her hotel.
- She visited Smiles in the morning: interacted with some of the patients from the community clinic. Also visited Smiles Forever clinic (fee for service clinic). Chloe toured the entire facility and we had coffee and explained in detail what we do and how we do it and how GG is so important for us.
- Then lunch with Sandy Kemper and discussed the cultural differences between North and South America. Also, we discussed about the other details like working with indigenous students and accommodating their personal baggage and how we need to change and adapt to new situations and overcome different issues.
- Then we visited the pediatric burn wing at the children’s hospital, so Chloe could meet with some of our beneficiary organizations. Seeing firsthand how much is the need for these kids and others in similar situation (HIV, cancer , abused, etc), was very emotional.
- In the afternoon, we returned to Smiles Forever facilities so Chloe could meet the rest of the staff and some of the students. We again met with different patients from community service. We exchanged ideas about founding projects and she will boost us with corporate donors once she gets back.
- After her visit we took Chloe to the hotel and she expressed, “I really appreciate the time you took to give me a tour and explain so much about your organization……now I understand what you guys do and how complicated it is to work down here.” She thinks that a small organization like Smiles Forever is really important to provide service for all those in need.
In return, we would like to say that Chloe is a wonderful field representative for GlobalGiving: she is caring, inquisitive, and responsive to the needs of our organization. Chloe added she was sorry not to meet Nancy Clark, our Project Leader for the entire time we have worked with GlobalGiving for the betterment of our corner of the world.
Smiles Forever Makes House Calls!
We have 16 Homes we Visit to bring Dental Screenings and Care, and we also pack up our whole mobile clinic and do "House Calls" to entire villages, esp. Ushpa Ushpa, Villa Tunari, and Morachata.
Our next ambitious "house call" will be a road trip in July to the tropical village of Ushpa Ushpa.
Smiles Forever is advancing to another chapter of community service. Many new organizations are finding out about our wonderful preventative and restorative care and are contacting us instead of us reaching out to others.
We work closely with organizations and parents training them to be on time and not to miss appointments. Completing all the antibiotics required for abscesses and completing the root canal therapy is vital. Working with a culture who has had little exposure to prevention can sometimes be frustrating. We solve this by being patient and extremely organized. All patients or organization leaders are given reminder calls prior to appointments. To prevent further decay we stress a 6-month recall for cleaning, exam and fluoride. All parents and staff of organizations are trained in preventative dental care techniques and provided dental services as well. We encourage toothbrushing and proper nutrition at home and in organizations and shelters.
This what our latest new organization had to say:
"Smiles Forever is an amazing organization to work with. We have learned so much about prevention of cavities and gum disease for the children as well as ourselves. When they work with the children they are so caring, gentle, and loving. They even call us at night to check and see if the children are in pain!"
Smiles Forever will receive an International Dental Hygienist Award in June in Switzerland
In June, Sandy will travel from Bolivia to be honored with a prestigious award for leading the way with her ground-breaking work in the 3rd world. The Smiles Forever model of using education of indigenous women in the marketable skill of dental hygiene to bring better dental care to a nation is being recognized for excellence. You may remember Sandy and Smiles Forever were nominated last October in a conference in Victoria, B.C., and we are very proud to announce that she and the foundation have won. Our hope is that our success in an extremely difficult environment can motivate others in similarly challenging countries to try and change lives and improve dental health in the process.
Summer Event Planning Underway:
Fresh from our fun-filled Meet & Greet with dental hygienist alumni of a Bolivian learning trip, in the local Seattle area, Smiles Forever is saying, "Let's do this again!" We are now planning a summertime event, perhaps sometime during the last weekend in July if all pans out. This will be another opportunity to visit with the Founder & Executive Director Sandy Kemper and several members of her new board to exchange ideas.
As quickly as details are finalized, we will send out a Save-the-Date notice.
But do not wait for summertime, to share your ideas. We are always here to listen, and comments may be sent to email@example.com.
Put June 15th, a 50% matching day for our Superstar organization on your calendar.
Sandy Kemper in Bolivian jacket receiving award
Beautiful flower in Bolivia's Tropical zone
Chloe from Global Giving
Bolivian girl in pink with pigtails