Be among those who will volunteer in Haiti

Volunteer in Haiti Overview

Haiti suffered inconceivable destruction from the January 12, 2010 earthquake throughout the city of Port Au Prince and outskirts. The destruction of the center of Port Au Prince, the capital city and largest city in Haiti, drove people outward and pushed the middle and upper classes deeper into the mountains.

At least three million people were affected by the earthquake and six months after the quake over three quarters of a million people was living in unsafe housing or temporary shelter. There is semi–‐permanent housing under construction in several outskirts of Haiti, however there are thousands still living in tent cities off some of the main roads. Haiti is one of the most densely populated and the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Access to quality health and oral health care is limited. Haiti has a total of 338 dentists in a population of approximately 10 million. In 2013, For World Wide Smiles (World Wide Smiles Inc.) traveled to Port Au Prince for the first time with a group of 9 to a catholic parish that governs a school and a number of orphans.

Our remarkable team included 2 dentists, 2 dental students and a college grad that planned to enter dental school in the fall. Three of our volunteers were very supportive with their skills & knowledge in equipment repair as well as teaching essential dental hygiene. At the outreach site, our team (Angels & Heroes) treated 104 patients with over 500 (fillings, sealants, extractions & cleaning) procedures. Besides dental treatment our team distributed T–‐shirts donated by My Happy Shirts, a supply of toothbrushes (life–‐saving tool), generous smiles and lots of love and hope.

In 2014, For World Wide Smiles (World Wide Smiles Inc.) returned to Haiti with a group of 10 to Port–‐Salut & Port–a–Piment. At our outreach sites For World Wide Smiles (World Wide Smiles Inc.) Angels & Heroes performed 522 procedures on 273 patients during the 2 week mission. Given the staggering need for care, moments of disillusionment was felt at the infinitesimal impact that we made on the millions who have no access to any dental healthcare. The inevitable breakdown of any method we have tried over the years to match the number of waiting patients to the number we can actually see inevitably leads to waiting patients who cannot be treated. Unfortunately, on our last day of the mission we had to painfully turn away a full bench of people that we were forced to abandon due to our allocated time as well as running out of necessary supplies and could not continue our work under any circumstances.

Our Dental Aid missions establishes relationships & partnerships that build strong ties, trust & mutual respect to the underserved people in Haiti. We look forward in returning to Haiti to provide dental healthcare, disease prevention education & needed supplies.