In 2009 member Kim Groizard travelled to Cambodia on what she anticipated would be a fun loving backpacking holiday. However when she visited ‘The Killing Fields’ just outside Phnom Penh she was appalled to discover evidence of the darker side of Cambodia’s history. It was whilst walking around the mass graves of The Killing Fields she found human teeth coming up through the pathways. These had belonged to people who had lost their lives at the site during the Khmer Rouge & Pol Pot Regime
In 2011 Kim returned to Cambodia and visited a hill tribe village just outside of Sen Monorom where she gave out much needed toothbrushes to the villagers. These were so well received by the locals that the idea of being able to deliver a portable dental chair to offer dental services to these people, was born. She found that most people were too poor to be able to travel to cities to access dental care and this spurred her on to find a way to supply them with some kind of dental support.
In 2015 the project SOLAR SMILES was born with the support of The Rotary Club of Docklands. This project has been funded by collecting 50c pieces at market stalls and the kind generosity of Rotary Club of Belvoir Wodonga, Rotary Club of Wyndham, Rotary Clubs within the 9800 district, or Julie Gittins from Frankston City Dental & Primary Dental.
Kim researched extensively and was able to access the Solar Powered Backpack Dental Chair created by Itec, to tackle the dilemma of the world’s lack of dental and medical care. Getting into rugged, hard to reach areas where medical help is scarce, can be tricky with any team.
ITEC based in South America sought to eliminate obstacles by creating a robust, fully articulating dental chair with a battery- operated handpiece in a 15kg package that can be transported on an adult’s back.
The chair is made of anodized aluminium tubing and high tech plastic joints that can support a patient up to 126kg. The package includes:
•A well balanced 2,000 – 30,000 rpm drill
• Pneumatic foot-operated speed control pedal
• Instrument tray
• Solar panel and zero memory metal hydride battery
It can be set up and taken down in 60secs.
During trips the local community will receive much needed dental treatment, Oral Hygiene instructions (with teachers or community leaders learning how to teach this), Toothbrushes and Toothpaste.
The SOLAR SMILES project is looking to partner up with any Rotary Clubs that have existing projects in any country where they feel this project could deliver much needed dental care.
In return the partnered Rotary Club need only pay for any consumables used on the trip, meaning a few hundred dollars covering gloves, masks, filling materials etc.
Dentists & Non Clinical Support Staff
Trips will be between 10-14 days long and will be going to various overseas locations. You will be required to cover the cost of your flights, accommodation & food for the duration of the trip.Transportation within the country is all included and there will be a welcome dinner and end of tour dinner included.
To lodge expressions of interest please email Kim Groizard firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a donation please go to the Payments Page, click on Paypal and describe your payment as Solar Smiles Donation.
SOLAR SMILES would like to thank the following kind supporters for their generosity:
Rotary Club of Belvoir Wodonga and Rotarian Brian Jones
Rotary Club of Wyndham
Rotary Clubs within the 9800 District
Frankston City Dental (opening June 2016)
Primary Dental – part of the Primary Healthcare group