Tell us about your mission.
Smiles Forever is a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life of impoverished children through free preventive and restorative dentistry backed by a unique educational model for disadvantaged women and mothers to become professional dental hygienists. Through the last 20 years we have provided free preventive and restorative dental care to over 45,000 children, caretakers/parents that are disadvantaged in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Our patients come to us through the 45 different shelters and nonprofits that we work with.
2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?
The West Foundation supports our mission financially in a way that allows us to run our preventive, restorative and educational oral health programs and dental hygiene training program for the underprivileged. Specifically, the last 6 years supporting our commitment and research project to Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). This is a new fluoride that prevents and stops cavities, useful in clinical and rural settings especially. SDF can treat cavities without creating an aerosol spray which is extremely important right now during this critical Covid time period. Statistics and a general report will be made available at the beginning of 2021.
3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?
The West foundation helps Smiles Forever eliminate poverty by helping us to provide jobs and education to impoverished women in the Bolivian community. Our dental hygienists and dentists are therefore able to provide financially for their families and serve as role models in their communities. Our patients who are impoverished see how education and healthy dentistry create a better quality of life and aspire to that. A healthy individual can provide for her family and serve her community.
4. How are you realizing your potential?
The fact that we have reached over 45,000 dental patients providing state-of-the-art quality preventative restorative dental care has allowed us to reach out potential. Also, in educating 45 young indigenous women through our unique dental hygiene model program that is quickly advancing to University level in Bolivia is rewarding. Also, we are pioneering a preventative research project with Sliver Diamine Fluoride, the latest and most advanced product to provide optimal in all arenas of dental health.
5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?
Smiles Forever is a unique program/foundation that has persevered 20 years through difficult economic, cultural, and political times and is continually striving to move ahead by embracing new concepts to move forward for another 20 years.
6. How can people reading this help you?
We would encourage the public to follow us through the West Foundation, our website and fundraising activities and share with others. If the public has ideas that they feel are useful please contact us through our website or email.
7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?
As an organization we have many financial and equipment needs on an ongoing basis. Currently grant writers, volunteers in all arenas, and social media experts would be invaluable.