Kim sitting with Bou Meng one of only 2 survivors of Tuol Sleng (S21) Pol Pot regime.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2009
Dr Julie Gittins, Dr Boran Sueng & Amelia Judson (5th yr Dental Student) treating a patient on the first humanitarian tour to Cambodia. 2017
Kim's first backpacking holiday to Cambodia, noticing the need for dental help for the community.
Kim and her now husband Glenn travel to Cambodia, giving out toothbrushes to hill tribe communities of Sen Monorom.
Kim became a Rotarian & the project SOLAR SMILES DENTAL CHARITY was born with the support of the Rotary Club of Docklands. Through extensive research Kim was able to find a portable solar powered backpack dental chair that meant dental treatment could be taken to communities rather than them having to travel extensively to cities.
Was spent collecting 50c pieces at the RC Glenferrie Farmers Market and presenting to Rotary Clubs around Melbourne and Victoria to raise funds for the 2 solar powered backpack dental chairs & dental equipment. This was achieved with the generous support of: RC Belvoir - Wodonga, RC Wyndham, RC Central Melbourne Sunrise, RC Prahan & RC Essendon North.
Solar Smiles Dental Charity also procured 20,000 toothbrushes that were co branded with Rotary and Solar Smiles Dental Charity. These toothbrushes became an integral way to raise funds and ensure the toothbrushes being donated were of the same quality we would use in Australia for our children's teeth.
Saw the first volunteer team arrive in Cambodia to deliver treatment to the children and community of Soksan Village, Kompong Thom. The team consisted of 10 Australian volunteers lead by Kim and Dr Julie Gittins.
In just 7 clinical days the team was able to deliver $126,665 worth of free dental treatment on an operational budget of $2760 (after initial equipment purchases).
After the Cambodian trip we were delighted when Dr Phil Hill from the Rotary Club of Fitzroy joined Solar Smiles Dental Charity as the Deputy Project Manager. In October Dr Phil Hill volunteered to help the Bendigo Maubisse Friendship Committee in partnership with the Timor Leste Dental Program to deliver free dental treatment to the communities of Maubisse in Timor Leste. He arrived home with a passion to make a meaningful change in Timor Leste through the use of Solar Smiles dental equipment.
Unfortunately the Rotary Club of Docklands closed but the project was picked up by the Rotary Clubs of Albert Park and Fitzroy as a combine international RAWCS project giving it full Australian Tax Deductibility.
April saw Kim and Dr Phil Hill travel to Maubisse, Timor Leste again with the Bendigo Maubisse Friendship Committee and Timor Leste Dental Program on a scoping trip to ascertain how Solar Smiles Dental Charity can best support the local community for dental treatment for an initial period of 3 years.
A community meeting with help with 5 of the 9 Xefe's, representatives from the Franciscan & Carmelite Order and approval from the Maubisse Referral Hospital and local government. There are 22 schools in Maubisse and Solar Smiles was allocated 6 schools with approx 1410 ish children:
EBC Sao Paulo III
EBF & EBC Beremoli
November saw the first official Solar Smiles clinical team arrive in Maubisse to deliver a prevention and clinical program to EBC Betulala. Team One was due to provided treatment to EBC Betulala but with the way the school is set up, the team actually picked up responsibility for EBF Betulala as well.
Due to a public holiday team 2 did not get to spend the 2nd full clinical week with EBC Sao Paulo III but instead Solar Smiles picked up yet another school EBC Sangrada Coracao.
During the 2 weeks 252 patients were treated with 95% leaving with fully completed treatment and given toothbrushes and toothpaste for prevention. $125,848.00 free treatment was delivered to the community by the 2 teams.
Has seen the employment of Savio our full time Timorese Oral Health Therapist and the full roll out of our Programa Nehan Saudavel to 10 schools. This is the prevention arm of the program delivering toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste & oral hygiene education into schools with a daily program. Savio visits these 10 schools every fortnight on a rotational basis conducting examinations and raising personal dental records for each student. Whilst at the school he delivers the application of Silver Diamine Fluoride to reduce the instance of decay.
The very first day of fundraising collecting 50c pieces,before we were even called Solar Smiles. Kim with Dr Julie Gittin & her daughter Chelsea. 2015.
Kim attending the Community Forum in Maubisse to determine allocation or services and schools. 2018
Team Two working at Sagrada Coracao School 2018
Kim & Glenn in Sen Monorom giving toothbrushes to a local Hill Tribe, Cambodia 2011
Early fundraising days with the Rotary Club of Docklands. For only a handful of people we really punched above our belts to get this project off the ground. 2016
Dr Phil Hill with children at a school in Maubisse, Timor Leste. 2017
Team One 2018 working at EBF & EBC Betulala school 2018
Through Rotary Australia Community Services (RAWCS), Solar Smiles Dental Charity is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission ABN 37 739 341 003