Theodora outside cliniic
Story with a Happy Ending: Sweet 7-year-old Girl gets her "Tooth Holes" Fixed:
Lydia is a sweet little girl with a "sweet tooth." Lydia especially loves chocolate and would find a way to get candy at school.
Background: Theadora (age 59) and her daughter Lydia (age 7) live in a rural village called Montesillo outside Cochabamba, Bolivia. They receive social services and after school daycare through a project called Warmi.
Here is their story with a happy ending, told by Theadora, Lydia's mother:
"This is the first time I have taken my daughter to a dentist because I am a single mother and only make my living by selling Chicha (homemade liquor) to local bars. My daughter would cry about her teeth hurting, but I could only buy some medication at the store for her.
I am very excited for my daughter to see the dentist to fill all the holes in her teeth. Before my daughter would buy chocolate and candy at school. The bugs (bacteria?) in her mouth were living off of the candy. Now she cannot buy candy and I make her brush her teeth.
I want to get my teeth worked on, too!
Update from Smiles Forever's Bolivian Dental Hygienist School's Outreach Program:
Currently, our Smiles Forever supported Bolivian Dental Hygienist school continues to strengthen and build upon our community clinic and rural outreach work. There are now 14 organizations, like the Warmi project which helped Lydia, that we visit both in Cochabamba and in surrounding rural areas. All these dental services can be provided free, thanks to the support from our GobalGiving friends like you.
Since our beginnings in 2000, we have been looking for ways to help the under-served in an ever-widening area around our dental hygienist school for young indigenous woman. Many of our students, past and present, have come from the very shelters which we now go back and serve. To date Smiles Forever estimates we have given 20,000 free treatments to the local area. Our goal is to reach out to 7,000 more, particularly the vulnerable children, some who are crying from tooth decay pain like one of our newest patients, Lydia. She's promising us and her mother to avoid candy and to brush her teeth, because Lydia doesn't want to live with constant pain again.
Sparkling Smiles at the Burn Center Christmas Party:
We all went to the holiday party at the burn center. We have been treating severely burned children who live at this special center for many years. Everyone loves to come here and make a difference giving dental treatments to the children who have suffered so much already. When these children can sport a sparkling smile after a dental treatment, it helps their image of themselves. Not only does receiving dental treatments build self esteem, it also improves the overall health of the children to not be exposed to the threat of systemic bacterial infection. Having tooth decay is a risky situation if a child's immune system is already working overtime, recovering from burns and the trauma of abandonment. Bolivian children who are not perceived as perfect can be discarded as a burden on a household. This burn center is a haven where the children find a new family. We are happy to be a part of their extended family and love celebrating special occasions with them.
New Year Best Wishes from us to you!
Muchas gracias for choosing us to help send a gift that keeps on giving. Here in one of the poorest areas of Bolivia, we nevertheless see hope for 2015 when you include us in your gift card, and other special season's greetings to your family and friends.
I'd also like to thank all of our Anonymous donors. You are Superstars & you helped our organization receive Superstar ranking in 2014. You are so much appreciated, and sometimes I feel I don't get to express our gratitude enough to all the humble Mr. & Mrs. & Ms. Anonymous friends we have.
Our original project is "Send a Homeless Bolivian Woman to School for a Year," (7925) key word Bolivia and then look for the Smiles Forever logo, or try www.globalgiving.org/7925 to see more pictures and stories.
The Whirlwind World of Fast-Paced Youthspark Microprojects: Vania & Marcela down to the last 17 days!
From time to time we also feature micro-projects through Youthspark. Our students Vania & Marcela have received wonderful exposure and backing. Their projects will end in 17 days, and they both still need a few thousand dollars for their school year. We shout out a fond thank you to Microsoft and their employees, and the corporate gift card programs from over 60 companies. We cannot do what we do without you!
Theodora with daughter Lydia receiving treatments
Founder Sandy Kemper spending time with a student