Smiles Forever is a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for impoverished children through free preventative and restorative dentistry supported by a unique educational model for disadvantaged women and mothers to become professional dental hygienists within the Smiles Forever foundation.
Since 2000, over 37,000 impoverished children have received quality, complete, free, preventative and restorative dental care while 37 disadvantaged indigenous women (mostly single mothers) have completed the Smiles Forever two year vocational dental hygiene program that provides the dental care to impoverished children through the program's community service clinic and community outreach programs to rural areas outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Smiles Forever believes the only way to break the cycle of poverty in developing nations such as Bolivia is to educate young women and girls. The culture may relegate females to second-class status, yet there is no denying that the woman is the primary socializing force of the family. An educated woman practices family planning. An educated woman knows that equal opportunity should be afforded to both male and female children. An educated woman understands and values the importance of prevention when it comes to both medical and dental care. She is less likely to accept domestic violence as a situation she must tolerate. She has self esteem, which allows her to make appropriate decisions within her household, community and country.
“Poverty and gender inequality go hand in hand. Addressing gender gaps in poor countries is not only a moral imperative but also a practical one, given the growing body of evidence which supports the idea that targeting investments in girls and women can help lift entire families and communities out of poverty.”
To continue to develop and grow our community service clinic that provides quality preventative and restorative dental care to impoverished children in South America.
To continue to promote the Smiles Forever two- year vocational training Dental Hygiene program for indigenous women that supports the community service clinic.
To continue to advance the general health of children in South America through the practice of preventative dentistry.
To increase the economic self reliance of indigenous young women in South America.
To share our dental hygiene educational program and community service model with developing countries.