Jean Paul Laurent - Unspoken Smiles Foundation

Jean Paul Laurent, Unspoken Smiles Foundation

Date grant awarded: 06/05/2017

In founding Unspoken Smiles Foundation, Jean Paul Laurent never intended to engage in philanthropy. Instead, he wanted to use the shocking gap in dental care as a model of sustainable growth. Starting with the most remote communities in rural Haiti as a pilot program, the foundation has adopted a three prong strategy to address this: education, treatment and empowerment.

First, the Unspoken Smiles Foundation’s unique curriculum is implemented in local schools, teaching children proper oral hygiene techniques at a young age, allowing it to become part of a daily (and lifelong) routine. The second is treatment, in which a variety of world-class dental professionals travel to these communities and provide cleanings, examinations and treatments. But it is the third portion that truly illustrates the key to this innovative approach: the Unspoken Smiles Fellowship. With this program, women between the ages of 18-35 are trained to become dental assistants within their communities, which not only allows the residents to receive ongoing basic dental care, but also provides the women with steady employment.