Partnering with CURE hospital, Free to Smile Foundation provides comprehensive cleft lip and palate surgery and dental care to impoverished, underserved children. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world and consistently has one of the lowest ranks of the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), currently 167th of 169 countries. During each mission to Niger, Free to Smile performs cleft lip/palate surgeries on anywhere from 40 to 50 children, provides dental care to hundreds of patients, and provides training to hospital staff in the areas of surgery, anesthesia, nursing, dentistry and nutrition.
Population: 17 million
Life Expectancy: 58 (USA: 78)
Income Per Capita: $872 (USA: $52,308)
Population Living Under $2.00 per day: 73% (USA: 0%)
Human Development Index: 187 out of 187 (USA: 5)
After several years of dialogue, a partnership and collaborative effort between Free to Smile Foundation and Tibetan Village Project came to fruition. In 2010, Free to Smile made its inaugural trip to the Kham, the Eastern region of Tibet, bringing dental care and education to an area where this is virtually unknown. Through continued annual trips, Free to Smile continues to treat those in need, with the ultimate goal of building a permanent dental clinic, train local dentists, and provide scholarships for young, motivated Tibetan students with a desire to enter the dental profession.
Free to Smile went on its first mission trip to Ethiopia in September 2014. Our volunteer team worked in Addis Ababa alongside our local partner CURE hospital with whom Free to Smile also partners on trips to Niger. Through continued annual trips we hope to continue providing comprehensive cleft lip and palate surgeries to impoverished and underserved children at this pediatric orthopedic teaching hospital located in Ethiopia’s capital city.
Free to Smile travels to Guatemala two to three times a year. Through partnerships with T.E.S.S. Unlimited and Partner For Surgery, our surgical team provides care to 40 to 60 surgical patients per trip while in various parts of Guatemala. Our dental team is able to provide comprehensive dental care and dental education to as many as 250 rural Guatemalans per trip while working with Salud y Paz.
Population: 15 million
Life Expectancy: 72 (USA: 78)
Income Per Capita: $6,865 (USA: $52,308)
Population Living Under $2.00 per day: n/a (USA: 0%)
Human Development Index: 125 out of 187 (USA: 5)
Free to Smile is honored to make annual trips to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where we work and partner with Angkor Hospital for Children. This privately funded teaching hospital was founded by famous Japanese photographer Kenro Izu who witnessed the desperate poverty and need in Cambodia. Free to Smile’s dental team provides care in the Angkor Hospital Dental Clinic and in various rural villages of Cambodia. They also provide educational lectures to the AHC staff on topics of current dental trends in order to help bring growth to the Cambodian staff.
Population: 15 million
Life Expectancy: 71 (USA: 78)
Income Per Capita: $2,805 (USA: $52,308)
Population Living Under $2.00 per day: 53% (USA: 0%)
Human Development Index: 136 out of 187 (USA: 5)
Statistics collected from the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports, World Health Organization and CIA’s The World Factbook. Graphics courtesy of CIA’s The World Factbook.