In the spirit of compassion and community service, the Smiles for Everyone Foundation embarked on a transformative journey throughout 2023 in the Philippines, bringing free dental services to underserved communities in Mindanao and Luzon in the last months of the year. Let’s take a look at the foundation’s remarkable efforts and the positive impact they’ve made in the lives of the Aeta/Ata, Ata-Manobo, and T’boli tribes.
November 19, 2023 – Mondol, Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao Del Norte
The outpost reached the Aeta/Ata and Ata-Manobo tribes in Mondol, Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao Del Norte in November. The Ata, known as dwellers of high places, faced challenges in their underdeveloped territories. The dental mission aimed to provide not just oral care but also bring smiles to their faces. Despite a 6-hour travel, the team found joy in seeing the tribes shining with genuine smiles.
Everything is new to the people, and they have very few resources, even wearing clothes is new for them. The only food they eat is root crops; even rice is a luxury for them. They do not know what money is because they barter goods. A lot of NGOs and the Local Government Unit are helping them, bringing the services they need close to them because from Kapalong (the center), you have to travel on rough and muddy mountain roads for 3-4 hours. They were asked if they wished to have fluoride applied to their teeth. And the girl on the right in the first photo said yes! Many people received dental treatment and rice from the outpost. There are still many needs and challenges to address and our compassionate dentists have dedicated themselves to providing dental care to the tribe, spreading smiles and ensuring oral health within these communities!
December 1, 2023 – Lorenzo Sarmiento Nat’l High School, Mawab, Davao de Oro:
The foundation’s outreach expanded to the younger generation as 400 high school students at Lorenzo Sarmiento Nat’l High School in Mawab, Davao de Oro, received free dental education, tooth extraction, and fluoride treatment on December 1.
December 13, 2023 – University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato:
Continuing the mission, the foundation successfully conducted dental services for 300 college patients at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato. The diverse population, including Maguindanaon, Ilocano, Cebuano, and Hiligaynon settlers, benefited from the foundation’s commitment to oral health for all people.
January 6, 2024 – Tamadang Kiamba, Sarangani Province:
As the calendar turned to 2024, the outpost extended its mission to the T’boli tribe in Tamadang Kiamba, Sarangani Province. Dental education, tooth extraction, and fluoride treatment services were provided, marking the foundation’s commitment to making a positive impact in the communities they serve.
Awards and Recognition:
The foundation’s unwavering dedication did not go unnoticed. The SFEF Philippines outpost received the Stakeholder of the Year (Group Category) award at the Philippine Air Force Reserve Command’s Stakeholders Recognition Night. This recognition, along with the “Most Outstanding Community Health Volunteer Group” award from the Annual National Convention of the Philippine Dental Association, highlighted the tremendous impact achieved in just one year.
As we reflect on the past year, the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s journey in the Philippines has been nothing short of extraordinary. From remote villages to educational institutions, the foundation has tirelessly worked to spread joy, dignity, and healthy smiles. The awards received are a testament to the profound impact made on the lives of thousands. The foundation’s commitment to excellence ensures that the journey to provide free dental services will continue, bringing hope and smiles to those who need it most.Awards, Dental Care, Philippines, Remote Village