The club of SI Slatina in Romania started the Soroptimist year with a new project: “Helping children from disadvantaged environments maintain dental health and prevent specific diseases”. The financing of this project is provided by the SIE Action Fund.
The theme of the project was due to statistics on the incidence of dental diseases and the costs of dental cavity reconstruction. The poor state of dental health can be seen in children, adolescents, mature and elderly.
At least in poor families, children are not accustomed to dental cleaning or dental examination by dentists.
The members of SI Slatina Club contributed to the improvement of this situation, which is particularly dangerous for the general health of the children and their future health as adults. In this respect, the members of our club have drawn the attention of parents, educators and dentists from the communities in which the project is being carried out. Through the lobbying of club president Elisabeth Mihail, club members were joined by dentists and nurses specializing in dental technology. As a consequence of Elisabeth’s approach, dentists and some of these volunteers have carried out free counselling for poor children in their private offices. Thus, in the three kindergartens where the activities of the project were developed, a friendly, but very useful atmosphere was created for the children. Dental specialists spoke to children about the importance of maintaining dental health early on. A relationship between the dentists and children was formed to overcome the fear of the dental office and doctor. The action will continue in the coming years and we hope it will lead to increased attention for dental hygiene.
Considering the precarious condition of many families with children in our country, our club members chose to carry out activities in rural communities and in poorer neighbourhoods of the towns in Olt County.
The club started the project with Kindergarten No 1 in Bals with approximately 60 children aged 3-6 years. Among them were children with special needs and those from the protective system. The children were very interested in the doctors’ explanations of dental care. Doctors managed, through a very friendly approach, to open dialogues with children, thus making their work very useful to them. At the end of the meeting, children were gifted toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash.
The next activity took place in Vulpeni, a village located about 40 kilometres away from Slatina. Approximately 50 children aged up to 6 years participated in the activity, as well as the dentists who work in the area. They explained to children how to brush their teeth correctly, using specific molds. Doctors invited poor parents with their children to the dental office to assess the health of their children’s teeth. Within this activity, club members offered dental packages.
The club’s activities continued in Corabia more than 100 kilometres from Slatina. And here the dentist has patiently explained the technique of brushing the teeth correctly. Children with special needs in the kindergarten looked closely at the doctor’s explanations. At the end of the doctor’s explanations, children chanted nice songs and also recited poems. Moreover, the educators invited us to come back to this kindergarten to carry out such activities with children. As usual, at the end of the activity we shared the dental materials. It was an experience that we want to continue with other children in kindergartens where there are poor children or children with special needs.