Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!

by Smiles Forever
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Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
Provide Dental Care for 44,000 Bolivian Children!
School children learning to brush their teeth
School children learning to brush their teeth

Smiles Forever Adopts Villa Tunari for an Ambitious 3-Year Treatment Plan

In the tropical zone of Bolivia lies the indigenous village of Villa Tunari.  It's a world away from the bustle of populous Cochabamba, but really only a 4-hour drive.  You may remember our visit in the fall when we took American volunteers and dental hygienist students to help at their 2-chair clinic staffed with one dentist. At that time 400 students were enrolled in a pilot project.  These students received a dental exam, nutritional counseling, and in addition they benefited from preventative dental instruction.  Everyone from the youngest 3-year-olds to the 20-year-old students received a toothbrush which remained at the school.  Since then the teachers have instigated a daily brushing routine.  All this effort took many hands a full week, and Smiles Forever promised to return in 6 months.

6-month Intervals for Treatment & Check-ups

Plans are in the works for our return in March or April.  We're actively fundraising now, so we invite you to become a new recurring giver at any level. Smiles Forever is adopting the whole village, but you may adopt a family or an individual child. You can help us bring proper dental treatments to these children, while at the same time we will be conducting a study regarding a treatment protocol which shows promise for limiting future decay.  One wonderful thing about Villa Tunari is the population, though small, is stable.  This affords us the perfect microcosm to collect data.  Because so much of our work has been to help bring dental care to shelters and to serve transient populations, we are excited to discover Villa Tunari.  Bringing professional care to everyone will be an amazing opportunity to track progress over this lengthy time period.

Smiles Forever Launches Storytelling Project

For a couple of years, Smiles Forever has been waiting in the wings in regard to Global Giving's Storytelling thrust.  It's not that we haven't anticipated how wonderful it would be to have pictures & feedback & personal insights of those we serve, it's just that we didn't see how we could start.  Now we do have a clear vision of a storytelling oasis.  We can get pictures (these jungle people enjoy being in photos as opposed to other tribal areas where picture-taking and picture sharing are discouraged or altogether forbidden).  We can devise a questionnaire specifically for this group, and we can collect personal information and opinions and see how they change over time.  We can couple this with the documentation for the clinical study.  It isn't off the drawing boards yet, but it can't fail to delight you--our "sponsors." Also, we can run features of our children with the project updates.  It will be as if you are there with us in the 100 degree heat.  You will be able to share the smiles and be energized by all the goodwill spread.

Thank you, happy Valentines Day as Smiles Forever joins Global Giving in wishing love and joy to the world.

School setting for tooth care
School setting for tooth care
Kingfisher male on wire
Kingfisher male on wire
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Sandy with Wilson at Burn Center giving computer
Sandy with Wilson at Burn Center giving computer

"Smiles Forever has been giving preventative and urgent care dental services to 16 charitable homes, including serving the home for burned children.  I want to share the story of one child, a brave young boy who lost his arms from catching an electric wire to save himself from a fall.  This boy's life is a miracle, and you can help bring him continued dental care as he heals and heads for the Shriner's Hospital to be fitted for new arms.  I send you this at Thanksgiving, because I know we are all counting our blessings, and the ability to share our bounty is truly a blessing."  Sandy Kemper, Founder & Executive Director of Smiles Forever.

 

Smiles Forever has been providing free dental services to underprivileged children over the last 15 years. We have served over 15,000 (mostly children). I want to share a special story with you about my friend Wilson, who has opened new doors for us to help provide much needed preventative care to a new population in Bolivia. Wilson is 14 years old. He has lost both of his arms and was badly burnt on 60% of his body. He was working building a bridge with his father while his mother was cooking in the construction camp to help support the family of 6. He fell off a ladder and tried to save himself by holding on to a high power cable  (200,000 volts) and then touched the ground. He was electrocuted. It is a miracle he is alive.

When I heard this story I wanted to meet him and see what I could do. It has been one the most difficult things in my life to see. I am deathly afraid of being burnt.  I have been to the burn hospital before, but never has my heart been so dramatically touched like this. Wilson's face looked so much like my own son's (Andre 8 years old). I could not sleep and would see his face in my dreams. At that point he was not able to wear clothes, so the wounds were difficult to look at. God, why is this happening? Many prayers have been said for Wilson. Since then he has had multiple surgeries, with many more to come but, and now wears a compression suit to help heal his wounds. He will be going to the Shriner's hospital in the U.S. to be fitted for prosthetic arms. He is a lucky one. One person a year is chosen from Bolivia to receive this treatment. Many will go without a limb.
My Dad, Sam, donated the computer you see in the photo. I'm so proud to be his daughter! The computer has a special pen Wilson can put in his mouth to touch the screen.  We have found a volunteer to tutor him. I told him while he is recovering he must use his beautiful mind. You see he was an honor roll student! He now wants to study to be an engineer to build houses with his Dad who is a carpenter.  In the past we have only provided care to the children and their parents in Mosoj Punchay, a shelter where burn victims can live while they are recovering from severe burns. Many of the children we see in the hospital come from the countryside, where a family including the animals will live in one room. They will cook with a campfire or use an unsafe gas tank. They may not have electricity and use candles. Or they adhere to old witch doctor traditions by burning the devil out of the children. We are now preparing a special preventative dental program for the children in the burn hospital, their parents, and the nurses. We will provide toothbrushes, Fluoride rinse, and preventative education. This education will address fire prevention and abuse. This new educational program will become part of our service to rural communities.

Or donate to one of our 4 Global Giving projects all rolled into one at Sandy's Gratitude Fundraiser.

 

 

Sandy's Gratitude FundraiserWe've raised $0 and counting!

Give NowComing Attractions on Global Giving:  Recurring  Donor  Rewards & Contest

Sign up as a new recurring giver during the month of December, and maintain your donations for a minimum of 4  months, then  Smiles Forever will receive a 100% match of one-month's gift.

Look for Smiles Forever being featured on the cover page of Global Giving on December 26th!

Our orginal project "Send a Homeless Bolivian Woman to School for a Year" will receive top billing. The sky's the limit for attracting new donors from around the world. We won a special drawing for helping Global Giving create "the best of all possible worlds" (from Voltaire's Candide) by giving our feedback.

Adela at burn center
Adela at burn center
Beautiful Bolivian Girl
Beautiful Bolivian Girl

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Mia from Seattle dental hygienists with snake
Mia from Seattle dental hygienists with snake

Visiting Dental Hygienists & Students from the Seattle Area paired with Director & Students for a Jungle Roadtrip

What could be more fun than heading down from the highland Bolivian city of Cochabamba to the Bolivian Amazonian basin, a scant 4-hour drive?  The excitement must have been building as during the week all were anticipating frolicking in a tropical waterfall, holding snakes, and in general stepping into an unknown world--foreign to anything they had experienced.  Yes, the project was designed to help the village and screen for everything from tongue anomalies to rampant caries, but why not factor in a load of fun?

Leading off the adventure was the sole guy in a pack of more than a dozen cute girls and young women.  Doesn't that sound like an outing to paradise?  This young gentleman turned out to be a great ambassador to the native village.  Some in our group claimed to get accustomed to the bugs, the dreadful humidity, and to walking around on rough or muddy terrain in 101 degree heat!

Testimonials & Thank-yous

Thanks again for all the effort you put into hosting us! I had such a great time!
-Mia"

"I was honored to be able to work alongside Smiles Forever in Bolivia. I enjoyed everyone that I worked with from the staff at Smiles, Smiles students and patients. It was an unforgettable experience and I hope to be able to return someday!" -Amber

Villa Tunari with gators, 'coon cousins', monkeys, parrots, curious leaves & spectacular blooms was a blast for the visitors from North & South America alike.

The group also crossed a suspension walking bridge & slept under mosquito netting.  A good time was had by all and the villagers so appreciated our help to improve their dental health.

Here's the more Technical Write-up from Smiles Forever Founder & Executive Director: Sandy Kemper

The second week was spent working together in Villa Tunari, in the Chapare jungle at the Maria Del Rosario School. The students, 608, were from age 5 to 18. All students received tooth brushing and nutrition classes given by the Smiles Forever students with Shoreline College dental hygienists. “The teaching posters that the Smiles Forever students have created are giving me ideas for my community service class,” Shoreline students exclaimed. Teachers and interested parents received these instructions also. Students keep their new toothbrushes at school. The parent’s club creates a board for storing the brushes. After lunch everyone is given time to brush their teeth.

  Sadly, at exam time many of the children had serious decay. Some so severe we call it ”Rampant Caries”; 10 teeth are damaged and usually appear black. Most of the children had at least 5 untreated cavities. 

With portable dental chairs and table tops (makeshift dental chairs)  treatment was provided to 250 children.  In 101 degree heat, 25 extractions were completed at the dental clinic at the neighboring hospital, San Franciso De Asis. The treatment will be followed closely. Smiles Forever will return in six months to provide more restorative dental care.

Pateints and our volunteers hugged and cried the last day. Creative techniques were developed, alliances were made, and lasting friendships were formed.  

We're thanking all of you donors who help alleviate extreme suffering in children such as we have seen on this trip!

While this project is not a Youthspark one, and therefore excluded from the Octoober 7th bonus campaign, it nevertheless is eligible for the Recurring Donor bonus campaign which is made possible by an anonymous donor to Global Giving.

New Recurring Givers will have their first donation matched at 100%, starting on Monday September 21st and ending on Friday September 25th.  Besides the initial donation of between $10 and $200, 3 more monthly automatic donations need to be made before the bonus is awarded.

 See Global Giving rules https://www.globalgiving.org/recurring-donations-matched/limited-time/?utm_source=GlobalGiving+Project+Leader+Newsletter&utm_campaign=04c9276f9b-September_2015_PL_Newsletter9_9_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e74b9ca250-04c9276f9b-391812221  

Please feel free to email me at sandykemper@smilesforever.org to help you decide which bonus opportunity works best for you.  This one will guarantee a 25% match if done during the short time window.

Pyramids of fruit from a Bolivian jungle market
Pyramids of fruit from a Bolivian jungle market
Look familiar?  Bolivian jungle possum
Look familiar? Bolivian jungle possum
Red flower blooming from Bolivian tropics
Red flower blooming from Bolivian tropics
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Geovanna & Dr. Apata treating boys in detox home
Geovanna & Dr. Apata treating boys in detox home

Smiles Forever adds Boys Detox & Detention Shelter to Growing Community Service List

30 boys, children and teens, and another 10 rotating part-time resident boys, are now served by our praise-winning team of dental professionals & dental hygiene students.  We really feel uplifted when we go to help the young men who have suffered so much as "street urchins," often involved in serious crimes just in order to survive.  Some of the boys are receiving detox treatments.  Some of these youth would have carried the "felon" label if it weren't for the mercy of the courts and the benevolent society which opened the doors at Tiquipaya Huasi.

When a shelter is struggling just to offer a roof & food, there is never anything budgeted for dental care.  Smiles Forever has stepped in to fill an urgent need.  Pictured is Dr. Apata involved first-hand in the assessment and treatment.  Often extractions are needed to prevent the spread of decay and to stop infection from becoming systemic.  Also, our dental hygienist students learn so much as they assist with cleaning & rinsing procedures & x-rays. Our staff and students help instruct these youth on tooth brushing and decay prevention. 

Because of your dollars, Smiles Forever can provide dental care to rescued street children!  Thank you!

Girls Benefit at Hogar Del Rey Center

Smiles Forever is not neglecting the girls of Cochabama who have been abandoned or victimized in other ways.  Education and therapy and now dental care is available to the children and young women who have seen some of the worst life has to offer.  There are a dozen girls with quite a range of ages who are benefiting from the best dental care Cochabamba has to offer.  More news coming soon about another new shelter, Estrellas de la Calle, (Stars from the Street), which helps 80 children, and includes family members in drug recovery therapy.  I promise I'll send pictures out for the next report!!

Your generosity brings so many smiles in Bolivia where your donations stretch!  Muchas Gracias!

Speaking of Making Your Donation Dollars Stretch, On July 15th Donate for a 50% Match From Global Giving

Smiles Forever is proud to be recognized as Superstars with Global Giving.  This means on July 15th bonus day, as long as funds last, your ten dollar minimum donation will be converted to $15.00.  Your thousand dollar maximum donation will be converted to $1,500!  You can give $1,000 to each of our three active projects.  Wow would that make a huge difference!  The donation window begins at 9:00 a.m. Bolivian time, which is 6:00 a.m. Seattle time for earlybirds.  This year the contest is also on www.globalgiving.co.uk with a

Send a Young Bolivian Mother to School for a Year

Give Now                 separate pot of  money which may last longer in the day.  Feel free to check it out!

 

Send Homeless Bolivian Woman to School For A Year

Give Now  I'm in Seattle with my family visiting and to receive care at Seattle Children's Hospital for our adopted daughter, beautiful, lively 6-year-old Gisele.  Please feel free to contact me.  Sincerely, Sandy

Bolivian market -- boys once lived on the street
Bolivian market -- boys once lived on the street
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Vibrant colors of the Bolivian market
Vibrant colors of the Bolivian market

Smiles Forever Brings Dental Care to the Boys of Arco de Iris

The boys at the Arco de Iris (Rainbow) shelter and school look forward to visits from the Smiles Forever dental hygienists trainees.  Our students make the rounds of 14 shelters or other agencies where they give free dental screenings and tooth brushing instruction.  The director at Arco de Iris tells us, "Our boys have smiles on their faces when they know the women from Smiles Forever are coming.  They get out the toothbrushes given to them on a prior visit, and they do an extra good job of brushing their teeth to impress the ladies."

It is heart-warming to see the director interacting with "his boys." He is like a father to them, and he cares about their future and he is doing his best to prepare them for the road ahead.  The director appreciates that good overall health makes a good impression, and the benefits of good oral hygiene are far-reaching.  The students who arrive from Smiles Forever are friendly and kind, and give good tips on how to care for teeth.  The boys have been rescued from being abandoned or abused and from living lonely lives without guidance.  They have the chance they need for better lives, because that is the promise of this school which offers protection under the rainbow.

Smiles Forever Outreach to 7,000 Indigenous Children

The boys at Arco de Iris are among the lucky recipients of Smiles Forever 15-year outreach program.  It is because of your generosity we can continue to impact the whole community surrounding our school.  Even when the women graduate, they choose to lend a hand at shelters and schools like this one.  We are so proud that  our graduates have formed their own dental hygienist society and that they have stayed connected to charity work.

Smiles Forever took part on Microsoft Youthspark Giving Tuesday, April 14th

We're so excited to share the news that more than two dozen of you, and some new mystery donors, joined in to help us raise $2,790 in matching funds.  Your gifts amounted to $9,000!  Muchas Gracias!  If you missed being introduced to our microproject "Geovanna's Genuine Goal:  Career & Safety for Baby," or "Send a Young Bolivian Mother to School for a Year," here are the links.  Click and read about these programs.

Geovanna's Genuine Goal: Career & Safety for Baby!         

Give Now powered by GlobalGiving logo

Send a Young Bolivian Mother to School for a Year

Give Now powered by GlobalGiving logo

With Gratitude for each of you who has given the promise of a better life under the Arc of the Rainbow!

Arco de Iris boy with director
Arco de Iris boy with director
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Organization Information

Smiles Forever

Location: Renton, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Sandy Kemper
Renton, WA United States
$49,737 raised of $99,990 goal
 
346 donations
$50,253 to go
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