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Smiles Forever

 Background:

Sandy Kemper has been a Dental Hygienist in the Seattle area for more than 28 years. She made her first trip to Cochabamba, Bolivia in March 1999 with the humanitarian program Dental Seminars and Symposia in the hopes of offering her dental hygiene skills to impoverished women and children. Sandy was surprised by the lack of dental care prevention she saw. Using her own resources, as well as money donated through local fund raising activities, Sandy Kemper returned to Cochabamba later that year, bringing dental supplies and dental equipment to a homeless shelter for women and children. Now the organisation also other resources, like dental care internships in Bolivia.

Smiles Forever was incorporated as a non-profit organization in June 2000 and received its 501 C (3) status September 13, 2001. Smiles Forever became a non profit foundation in Bolivia in 2004 and is now recognized worldwide. Four dental hygienists completed their training in 2005 and are currently employed part-time while completing their general education. Two students have currently completed one year of training.  The Smiles Forever dental hygiene program was accredited in 2004 by the Dental Society of Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Objectives:

Smiles Forever is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by giving the opportunity for young indigenous women in poverty to be educated as dental hygienists so they can in turn empower and provide for their families, become leaders, and provide dental care services to the disadvantaged and surrounding impoverished rural communities.

Goals:

  • Create a dental hygiene program that will serve as a model for other organizations in Bolivia and other developing nations
  • Increase the economic self-reliance and status of indigenous women in South America
  • Address the lack of preventative dental care in South America

Volunteer / Internship requirements:

  • Beginner Spanish
  • Interest and experience in office administration and teaching English
  • Minimum two month commitment