Volunteerism lies at the root of our humble professional work. Our dental student volunteers benefit, personally and professionally, from their experience working in the communities. The volunteers come from all over the world to work together on projects, forming relationships that cross ethnic and cultural bridges. Many volunteers carry on with outreach work back in their own communities, others have taken positions in orgs such as IADS or WHO, and others have led international outreach projects.
Dental students in the USA and Bulgaria are of the opinion that field experiences in economically challenged and underserved areas of the world would: a) foster the global advancement of dentistry; b) promote an appreciation for cultural diversity and socioeconomic disparity in the communities that graduates will be serving; and c) teach students the virtues of philanthropy and volunteerism.12, 13, 14, 15
We are committed to the core values outlined by the Coalition for Responsible Short-term Global Health Experiences:
Host country and community empowerment to define needs and activity
Humility, cultural sensitivity, mutuality and respect for all involved
Mutual partnerships with two directional learning
Compliance with applicable laws, ethical standards, and codes of conduct
13. Ivanoff CS, et al. Student perceptions about the mission of dental schools to advance global dentistry and philanthropy. J Dent Educ. 2013 Oct;77(10):1258-69.
14. Cherniak W, Latham E, Astle B, Anguyo G, Beaunoir T, Buenaventura J, et al. Visiting trainees in global settings: host and partner perspectives on desirable competencies. Ann Glob Heal. Elsevier. 2017;83(2):359-68.
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.
What do we mean by developing innovative models of sustainable oral health promotion through a human design centred approach?
The Humble Smile Foundation adheres to the European Foundation Centre’s Principles of Good Practice, revised in 2014.
Humble Smile Foundation’s Governing Board is an independent decision-making body whose members are nominated in accordance with established principles and procedures. The Board consists of experts in oral health and development work from all around the world. The organization leverages Board member engagement to promote effective and prudent management, maximize internal support and to check the evaluation of the efficacy of the delivered strategy.
The foundation communicates the remit, goals and results of its work in a comprehensive and digestible manner, holding transparency at the core of all activities.
The foundation acts in a responsible and collaborative manner by accounting for its actions to stakeholders, and by being active in sharing its knowledge and experiences.
We aim for robust monitoring and evaluation systems by collaborating with researchers and recognized institutions and universities.
We respond to feedback about our performance and operations, from all our partners.
We conduct financial assessments by both in-house and external auditors to assure funds are used properly.
We adjust our planning and operations where necessary based on these evaluations, assessments, and feedback.