Feb 5 2009

A CFCA community organizes a dental clinic

Hello fellow walkers,

The lack of access to basic services is one of the biggest problems of the poor around the world. Many people think that in order to give dignified living conditions to those in need, lots of money is necessary, but what we really need is a heart to walk with them. Just by knowing that someone cares, a healthier environment is created within the poor. What an amazing experience to see the outcome by letting them know that there is ìsomeoneî who thinks and cares about them.

Within the city of Santa Ana, El Salvador, we find a small community of families who survived by collecting garbage from the city dump to sell. CFCA is now sponsoring 84 children in the area, and the changes are fabulous.

With the support and work of the CFCA families who connected electricity from one of their homes, brought chairs, installed lights and offered their help as volunteers, CFCA organized a dental campaign in the community.

One by one, the sponsored children came to see the dentist. It was extraordinary to see the wide, open eyes of the children seeing the dentists work for the first time. As you may imagine, some of the children were crying, some were nervously laughing and others debated the risk to even open their mouth!

Erick gets his teeth cleaned Sponsored child Erick, 8, was very nervous and did not want to enter our improvised clinic. ìNo, no, I am not letting any doctor use a drill on my teeth.î

We invited Erick to see the reactions of other children before him. After much convincing, he accepted and discovered that the check-up was not painful at all.

ìThe machine with the brush was tickling my mouth. It was fun,î said Erick.

The families in the area make an average of $50 to $60 a month. Without sponsorship, dental service is impossible. CFCA organized this campaign with the hope of discovering current dental conditions in the children, to find the possible cause and work on prevention.

Drs. Dennis Funes and Ana Lizeth Mendez were both born and raised in Santa Ana, and they know the needs and difficulties of the families. They were very happy to see that the children were well-behaved. Working 10 hours a day during the weekends, they offered excellent service with patience and professionalism.

Dr. Funes records dental resultsìI am amazed by the conditions of these childrenís teeth. First I thought we were going to have very difficult cases but I am happy to say that most of them are in acceptable condition, and the follow-up treatments will be minor,î Dr. Funes wrote in his final assessment.

Dr. Funes mentioned that the nutritional food provided by CFCA has made a big impact in the current result.

ìThe benefits and services offered to this community in the past have greatly impacted their current dental health, and their health in general. We need to work on prevention, the need for vitamins, and fluoride is a must.î

CFCA will work on fixing superficial cavities, providing proper fluoride treatment and focusing on teaching proper dental care.

Our love and gratitude for all the sponsors who are offering help to the children around the world. You are truly helping to build a better and healthier future for your friends. Letís keep walking together; we are really on the right path.

Henry Flores
Director of Communication Center
El Salvador

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