We are not saviours. We are just caring dental professionals who love a profession that has so far failed most of the world’s population. Armed with innovative preventive initiatives, scientific process and professional commitment, we are taking our struggle with tooth decay to the front lines, respectful of local culture and careful of environmental and economic collateral damage.
Where do you operate?
We work where unmet oral care needs are great.
Since its establishment in 2015, the Humble Smile Foundation has initiated and led 7 comprehensive projects in Latin America, Sub Saharan Africa, and East Asia, and supported over 30 projects around the globe through provision of professional trainings and in-kind donations.
What do you do?
Humble Smile Foundation provides dental health support to children without access to dental treatment. We are dedicated to providing vulnerable communities with the means and motivation to prevent oral diseases, conditions and disabilities, especially child tooth decay, by developing, implementing and sharing effective and sustainable models of oral health promotion.
In summary, we:
Identify vulnerable communities with high unmet dental needs;
Approach each community with sensitivity to their culture, beliefs and social structure;
Bring preventive and holistic approaches to broadly address each community’s specific needs and circumstances;
Develop, implement and share effective and sustainable models of oral health promotion;
Focus on children, while ensuring equal gender balance, and encouraging family and elderly involvement in our programs;
Encourage positive behavioural change through advocacy, policy change, educational and communal activities;
Support the integration of oral health into existing health and educational programs;
Work closely with local partners and community leaders to secure long-term and sustainable impact;
Empower local educators and community care-givers through a sustainable model of training-the-trainers;
Ensure that all initiatives are evidence-based by working closely with academic and professional partners in the dental world;
Provide a platform for the dental profession to gain experience in, and demonstrate responsibility towards, underserved communities;
Seek inclusive collaborations;
Strive for sustainable funding to secure expansion and proliferation of successful models;
Respect local economies and are careful not to compete with or harm local business
Minimize the environmental foot-print of our projects.
Why is this necessary?
While research has been conducted into the distribution of tooth decay and guidelines have been developed to address oral care needs on continental or national levels, few models have been developed applying dental skills and knowledge effectively in the field on a communal level especially in complex areas that suffer from economic, political, and/or environmental challenges.
How is this different to other initiatives?
Humble Smile Foundation applies a holistic and human design centred approach that is unique in each specific location. We develop innovative and effective models of oral health promotion that are culturally, socially and environmentally sensitive and provide sustainable solutions to the specific needs and circumstances of each community. Results are then shared broadly to be picked up by government or other executive players.
What do you mean by “developing innovative models of sustainable oral health promotion through a human design centred approach”?
Humble Smile teams assess the oral health of communities while critically observing the habits and customs of the beneficiaries of our projects and carefully listening to their desires. We design professional evidence-based activities based on these specific needs from the community. Our pilot projects are tested carefully with close local collaborations. We conduct close monitoring and thorough evaluations and we refine our interventions based on the input from our beneficiaries, local partners and the M&E results. Finally, we then re-implement our improved activities for long lasting changes and high impact.
Humble Smile Foundation’s Science & Research Department has developed a sophisticated, paperless, real-time M&E system to help us make better and timely decisions during our projects.
Monitoring & Evaluation serves as a critical framework for delivering on our organizational mission to support oral health and prevent suffering for oral diseases among children and their community members.
Understanding the impact of our interventions on the communities we serve is vital and crucial – for our beneficiaries, our dedicated staff, our supporters, our global and local partners, and our dental colleagues.
Our models and research results are presented academically not only to share our knowledge but also to establish the scientific basis of our Humble work as we advocate for prevention in public health.