ARTS (A Reason To Smile) Goes to Uganda

By DeVon Dee Dee Banks
Thu, Nov 12. 12:00AM - 3:00AM

Recently, I teamed with a non-profit organization which is run by Dr. Gunther Heyder here in Washington, DC. Last year, he started an organization called A Reason to Smile (ARTS) to bring dental relief and education to the people of Africa. The ARTS project is a self-run clinic that brings all of its own materials, instruments, and some medications. It's mission is to provide direct care, education, and supplies so that we are advocating proper oral hygiene, oral health, and infection and disease control that can be maintained after our visits. The team we have here in the US consists of a wide variety of professionals, including dentists, dental staff, educators, lawyers, and other humanitarians. We are planning a trip to the Sitabalee village in Uganda in November of 2015. There are only 200 dentists for a population of 33 million people in Uganda. That is a ratio of 1:165,000. We will be joining forces with TASAAGA ( and using their facilities to bring dental care and education to these areas for 10 days. The success of the first trip to Senegal in March 2015 was very encouraging, and were excited to bring relief to another area of Africa. We hope to see about 1,000 patients in a refugee camp and the surrounding area, which is greatly affected by poverty and lack of access to healthcare. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me with any questions. You can also visit the website at Your consideration is greatly appreciated, and your donation (either financially or as a volunteer) would truly make a difference to hundreds of people! HOW CAN YOU HELP? 1. Volunteers: Anyone who is interested in working hard, helping people in need, and exploring a new part of the world is welcome to volunteer with us. Our trips can be difficult both physically and emotionally, but they are also extremely rewarding. Safety for both patients and volunteers is our primary concern, which is why we have prepared a planning guide to review all of the necessary steps that both volunteers and ARTS must take leading up to a trip, including information about vaccinations, insurance, and general safety tips. 2. Financial Contributions: We would be so honored if you would consider sponsoring our trip with a donation. Our most pressing need is financial, as the cost for each volunteer to attend a trip is around $1,700 (including airfare, visas, vaccinations, and accommodations). All financial contributions are tax deductible. Donations of all sizes are welcomed! 3. Supply Contributions: Old instruments, new instruments, infection control products, dental hygiene products, local anesthetics...we will take it all! Thanks!! Dee :-)

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